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^THEOLOGICAL  SEMINARY,  | 


Princeton,  N.  J. 


C- 


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'^  PRINCETON,  N.  J.  ^ 


PRESCNTCD  BY 


THE  PRESBYTERIAN  BOARD  OF  PUBLICATION 


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sec 

/OS/ 

V,  2L.. 


LETTERS 


OP 


JOHN  CALVIN 


COMPILED  FROM  THE  ORIGINAL  JLA.NUSCRIPTS  AND 
EDITED  WITH  HISTORICAL  NOTES 


DR.  JULES  BONNET. 
VOL.  II. 

TRANSLATED  FROM  THE  LATIN  AND  FRENCH  LANGUAGESL 


PHILADELPHIA : 
PRESBYTERIAN   BOARD   OF    PUBLICATION, 

NO.  821  CHESTNUT  STREET. 


Entered  according  to  the  Act  of  Congress,  in  the  year  1858,  by 
JAMES  DUNLAP,  Treas., 
in  the  Clerk's  Office  of  the  District  Court  for  the  Eastern  District  of  Pennsylvania. 


CONTENTS. 


1545. 

LETTER  PAGE 

CXLTV.  To  ViRET. — Unpopularity  of  Calvin — various  advices,  .    15 

CXLV.  To  Monsieur  de  Falais. — Exhortation  to  glorify  God  amid 

poverty  and  persecution,   .  .  .  .  .16 

CXLVI.  To  Madame  de  Palais. — Congratulations  on  the  constancy 
manifested  by  her  in  the  midst  of  trials — salutations  from 
the  suffering  Idelette  de  Bure,        .  .  .  .19 

CXLYII.  To  Monsieur  de  Falais. — Vanity  of  trust  reposed  in  the 

princes  of  this  world — confidence  in  God, .  .  .20 

CXLVIII.  To  Farel. — Captivity  of  Farel's  brother  —  ravages  of  the 

plague  in  Geneva,  .  .  .  .  .22 

CXUX.  To  ViRET. — Dispersion  of  the  School  at  Geneva — contests  at 
Neuchatel  on  the  subject  of  church  property — Calvin's 
opinion  of  Farel,   .  .  .  .  .  .24 

CL.  To  Monsieur  de  Falais. — Prayers  for  his  restoration  to 

health,       .......    26 


1546. 

CLI.  To  Farel. — News  from  Germany —journey  of  the  French 
Ambassador  to  Geneva — details  concerning  the  condition 
of  the  town,  .  .  .  .  .  .26 

CLII.  To  Monsieur  de  Palais. — Calvin  dedicates  to  him  one  of 

his  Commentaries,  .  .  .  .  .29 

CLTII.  To  John  Frellon. — Rupture  of  the  relations  between  Cal- 
vin and  Servetus,  .  .  .  .  .  .30 

CLTV.  To  Farel. — Reply  to  various  questions  —  terrible   threat 
against  Servetus — imprisonment  of  one  of  the  leaders  of 
the  Libertins,         .  .  .  .  .  .31 

CLV.  To  Farel. — Pacification  of  the  Church  at  Xenchatel — report 
of  the  speedy  arrival  of  the  Emperor  in  Savoy — dangers  at 
Geneva — withering  mention  of  Francis  I.,  .  .34 

(3) 


4:  CONTENTS. 

LETTER  PAGE 

CLVI.  To  YiRKT.— Election  of  a  minister  at  Neuchatel — sickness  of 

Yiret's  wife,  .  .  .  .  •  .36 

CLVn.  To  ViRET. — Calvin  invites  his  friend  to  repair  to  Geneva  after 

the  death  of  his  wife,         .  .  .  .  .37 

CLVIII.  To  ViRET. — Renewed  and  more  pressing  invitation  to  come 

to  Geneva,  .  .  .  .  •  .38 

CLIX.  To  Thkodore  Vitus. — Indication  of  the  various  documents 
wherein  are  set  forth  the  opinions  of  Calvin  regarding  the 
Lord's  Supper — earnest  desires  for  union  and  peace  among 
the  Churches — condition  of  Geneva,  .  .  .39 

CLX.  To  YiRET. — Instructions  to  Viret  about  a  journey  to  Geneva,      42 
CLXI.  To  Monsieur  de  Falais. — Calvin's  labours — the  diet  at  Ra- 
tisbon— the  Church  of  Metz — the  Reformation  at  Heidel- 
berg— Apology  for  ]\I.  de  Falais — opinion  regarding  the 
sermons  of  Ochino,  .  .  .  .  .43 

CLXn.  To  Monsieur  de  Faj.ais. — Advice  regarding  the  editing  of 
the  Apology — details  of  a  loan  contracted  for  M.  de  Falais 
— news  from  Germany  and  Italy — Farel  and  Viret  at  Ge- 
neva— death  of  Juan  Diaz,  .  .  .  .47 

CLXIIL  To  Farel. — Troubles  at  Geneva — imprisonment  of  the  seve- 
ral members  of  the  family  of  Favre — account  of  the  assas- 
sination of  John  Diaz  at  Neubourg,  .  .  .52 
CLXIV.  To  Amy  Perrin. — Complaints  regarding  the  conduct  of  Per- 
.    riu — firm  and  courageous  declaration  by  the  Reformer  of 
his  resolution  to  persevere  in  his  duty  unto  death,  .     56 
CLXV.  To  Farel  and  Viret. — Requests  in  favour  of  the  faithful  in 

France,      .  .  .  .  .  .  .58 

CLXVI.  To  Madame  de  Falais. — Expression  of  Christian  sympathy 

and  condolence  on  occasion  of  the  illness  of  M.  de  Falais,     60 
CLXVn.  To  Farel. — Excitement  caused  at  Geneva  by  the  Represen- 
tation of  a  Play,    .  .  .  .  .  .61 

CLXVIII.  To  Monsieur  de  Falais. — Proposals  of  matrimony  on  behalf 

of  Viret,    .......     63 

CLXIX.  To  Viret. — Account  of  the  steps  taken  relative  to  his  mar- 
riage,        .  .  .  .  .  .  .65 

CLXX.  To  Viret. — Fresh  details  regarding  the  projects  for  his  mar- 
riage,        ,  .  .'  .  .  .  .65 

CLXXI.  To  Viret. — Same  subject  as  the  preceding,  .  .  .68 

CLXXII.  To  Viret. — Breaking  off  of  tlie  match  treated  of  in  the  pre- 
ceding letters,        .  .  .  .  .  .68 

CLXXIII.  To  Farel. — Violence  of  the  family  of  Amy  Perrin — decla- 
mations of  the  wife  of  Froment  against  the  ministers  of 
Geneva,     .  .  .  .  .  .  .70 

CliXXrV.  To  Farel. — Calvin's  indisposition — literary  labours — appa- 
rent reconciliation  with  Perrin  and  his  family,      .  .     72 


CONTENTS.  5 

STTER  pjVQg 

CLXXV.  To  Monsieur  de  Falais. — Recurrence  to  the  matrimo- 
nial projects  of  Viret — explanations  on  various  sub- 
jects,    .  .  .  .  .  .  .74 

CLXXVI.  To  Madame  de  Falais. — Sad  communication  to  be  made 

to  M.  de  Falais — promise  to  send  several  discourses,   .     76 
CLXXYII.  To  Monsieur  dr  Falais. — Congratulations  on  his  conva- 
lescence— uncertainty  of  prospects  in  Germany — confi- 
dence in  the  all-powerful  protection  of  God,     .  .     77 
CLXXVIII.  To  Monsieur  de  Falais. — Excuses  for  Viret — uses  of 
sickness — various  rumours  concerning  the  war  in  Ger- 
many— explanations  on  the  subject  of  the  Supper,       .     79 
CTiXXIX.  To  Monsieur  de  Falais. — Consolations  on  the  death  of 

his  sister,  .  .  .  .  .  .84 

CLXXX.  To  Madame  de  Falais. — Assurances  of  afiFection  for  her- 
self and  her  husband,    .  .  .  .  .85 

CTiXXXT.  To  Viret. — Statement  of  the  expense  of  a  visit  to  Lau- 
sanne, on  the  occasion  of  Viret's  marriage — ecclesiasti- 
cal difficulties  at  Berne,  .  .  .  .86 

CTiXXXn.  To  Monsieur  de   Falais.  —  Military   movements    in 
Switzerland — policy  of  the  Cantons  in  reference  to  the 
Emperor,  .  .  .  .  .  .88 

CtXXXni.  To  INIadame  de  Bud6. — Calvin  exhorts  this  lady  to  leave 

France,  and  retire  with  her  family  to  Geneva,  .    90 


1547. 

CLXXXTV.  To  THE  Avoter  Nceouelt. — Complaints  of  the  miscon- 
duct of  several  ministers  in  the  Pays  de  Vaud,  .     94 
CLXXXV.  To  Farel. — Mission  of  Calvin  in  Switzerland — disposi- 
tions of  the  various  Cantons,   .            .            .  .95 
CLXXXVI.  To  Monsieur  de  Falais. — Search  for  a  house  for  that 
gentleman  in  Geneva  —  various  details  —  mention  of 
Charles  V.  and  Francis  I.,       .            .            .  .97 
CLXXX VII.  To  Monsieur  de  Falais. — Instructions  regarding  the 
Apology — alarming  rumours  current  at  Geneva — Cal- 
vin's confidence,            .....  100 
CLXXXVIII.  To  Monsieur  de  Falais. — Disputes  of  M.  de  Falais  with 
Valeran  Poulain — reports  of  the  expected  arrival  of 
the  former  in  Geneva,  .            .            .            .  .102 
To  Valeran  Poulain. — Severe  reprobation  of  his  be- 
haviour towards  M.  de  Falais — reply  to  a  calumny  di- 
rected against  the  Reformer,    ....  104 
CXC.  To  Viret. — "Weakness  of  the  Genevese  magistracy — ex- 
pectation of  Viret's  arrival  in  Geneva,             .            .  106 


6  CONTENTS. 

LETTER  PAGE 

CXCI.  To  WoLFGAXG  MuscuLus. — Anxiety  regarding  the  Churches 

of  Germany — advice  to  Musculus,  .  .  .  108 

CXCII.  To  ]\roN-.siEUR  DE  Falais. — Steps  taken  at  Basle  to  retract  a 

promise  of  marriage  made  to  Yaleran  Poulain,     .  .  110 

CXCIII.  To  Francis  Dryander. — Confused  state  of  the  Church — 

hopes  and  fears  for  the  future,       .  .  .  .Ill 

CXCIY.  To  Monsieur  de  Falais. — The  sending  of  a  minister — per- 
plexities regarding  anticipated  events  in  Germany,  .  113 
CXCV.  To  Monsieur  de  Falais. — Information  in  regard  to  a  house 
— advice  on  the  subject  of  a  marriage  proposed  for  a  rela- 
tive of  Monsieur  de  Falais,            .            -            .            .114 
CXCVI.  To  Viret. — Interview  of  Calvin  with  a  senator  of  Berne — ■ 

advantage  secured  over  the  party  of  the  Libertius,  .  116 

CXCVII.  To  Monsieur  de  Falais. — Recommendation  of  John  de  Bud6 

— uncertainty  of  the  news  from  Germany,  .  .  118 

CXCVIII.  To  Monsieur  de  Bude. — He  exhorts  him  to  follow  the  ex- 
ample of  the  rest  of  his  family,  and  retire  to  Geneva,        .  119 
CXCIX.  To  Viret. — Citation  before  the  Consistory  of  the  wife  of 

Amy  Perrin — case  of  Gruet — news  from  Germany,  .  122 

CC.  To  Monsieur  de  Falais. — Solemn  lessons  afforded  by  the  sad 
occurrences  in  Germany — troubles  in  Geneva — energetic 
attitude  of  Calvin,  .  .  .  .  .125 

CCI.  To  Viret. — Indecision  of  the  Seigneurs  of  Geneva — inflexi- 
bility of  Calvin,     .  .  .  .  .  .128 

ecu.  To  TUE  Faithful  of  France. — State  of  Germany — details 
regarding  the  struggles  of  the  Reformer  in  the  cause  of  the 
truth  at  Geneva,  ......  129 

CCin.  To  Monsieur  de  Falais. — Thanksgivings  for  the  happy  de- 
liverance of  Madame  de  Falais — false  reports  concerning 
the  state  of  Geneva — details  regarding  the  publication  of 
the  Apology — indisposition  of  Calvin,  and  his  regret  at 
being  separated  from  Monsieur  de  Falais,  .  .132 

CCrV.  To  Farel. — False  report  of    Calvin's  death — proposition 
(query)  by  the  wife  of  Amy  Perrin — calumnious  accusa- 
tion against  Idelette  de  Bure — ^journey  of  Farel  to  Geneva,  137 
CCV.  To  Viret. — Mention  of  a  letter  from  M.  de  Falais — Emman- 
uel Tremelli — a  book  by  Viret — journey  of  Bud6  and  Ni- 
colas des  Gallars  to  Paris,  ,  .  .  ,  139 
CCVI.  To  Monsieur  de  Fai.ais. — Dedication  of  the  Apology — men- 
tion of  M.  de  Mommor — sickness  of  Maldonado,    .            ,  141 
CCVII.  To  Henry  Bullinger. — Comments  by  Calvin  on  a  work  by 
Bullinger — state  of  Germany  and  Italy — policy  of  the 
Cantons,    .            .            .            .            .             .  .143 

CCVin.  To  Monsieur  de  Falais. — Return  of  Nicolas  des  Gallars — 

stay  of  Farel  and  Viret  at  Geneva,  .  .  ,  145 


CONTENTS.  7 

LETTER  PAGE 

CCIX.  To  Monsieur  de  Falais. — Re-assuring  intelligence  on  tbc 

state  of  Geneva — restoration  of  Maldonado,       .  .  146 

OCX.  To  Farel. — Sad  state  of  the  Republic — discouragement  of 

the  Reformer,     ......  147 

CCXT.  To  ViRET. — Rising  at  the  IIGtel  de  Villc — heroic  bearing 

of  Calvin — trust  in  God  alone,   .  .  .  .148 

CCXTI.  To    Monsieur  de  Falais. — Printing  of    Tlie  Apology — 

troubles  at  Geneva,         .  .  .  .  .  1  r)0 

CCXIII.  To  YiRET. — Invitation  to  come  to  Geneva, .  .  .  lol 

CCXIV.  To  Farel. — Publication  of  The  Antidote — statement  re- 
garding the  condition  of  Geneva,  .  .  .  152 
CCXV.  To  THE  Family  of  Bud^. — Consolations  on  occasion  of  the 

Death  of  one  of  its  Members,      .  .  .  .154 


1548. 

CCXYI.  To  Monsieur  de  Falais. — Cost  of  printing  of  TJie  Apology 

— despatch  of  several  copies,       ....  157 
OCX VII.  To  Monsieur  de  Falais. — Particulars  regarding  bis  de- 
parture, and  the  purchase  of  a  property  near  Geneva,     .  159 
CCXVni.  To  Henry  Bullinger. — Brotherly  explanations  regarding 

the  difference  on  the  subject  of  the  Communion,  .  160 

CCXIX.  To  Monsieur  de  Fai^is. — Obstacles  to  his  departure — 

delay  of  some  months,     .  .  .  .  .162 

CCXX.  To  Farel. — Distressing  condition  of  the  Swiss  churches,    .  164 
CCXXI.  To  Farel  and  Viret. — Disputes  among  the  ministers  of 

Berne — and  Calvin's  journey  thither,      .  .  .  165 

CCXXII.  To  Viret. — Communications  regarding  affairs  at  Berne,     .  166 
CCXXIII.  To  YiRET. — Ecclesiastical  tyranny  of  the  Seigneurs  of  Berne 

— sojourn  of  Idelette  de  Bure  at  Lausanne,         .  .167 

CCXXTV.  To  Henry  Bullinger. — New  explanations  regarding  the 
Supper — violence  of  some  of  the  Bernese  ministers — Cal- 
vinism and  Baceranism,  .  .  .  .  .168 
CCXXV.  To  Monsieur  de  Falais. — Preparations  for  the  marriage 

of  Mademoiselle  de  Wilergy,  his  relation,  .  .173 

CCXXVI.  To  Farel. — Uncertainty  regarding  the  disposition  of  the 
Cantons — stay  of  Monsieur  and  Madame  de  Falais  in 
Calvin's  house,    .  .  .  .•  .  .175 

CCXXV  11.  To  Viret. — Embarrassment  occasioned  to  Calvin  by  the 

treacherous  publication  of  one  of  his  letters  to  Viret,     ,  176 
CCXX  VIII.  To  A  French  Seigneur. — Exhortation  to  come  to  Geneva, 

that  he  might  there  serve  the  Lord  faithfully,     .  .179 


8  CONTENTS. 

UTTER  PAQB 

CCXXIX.  To  TOE  Protector  Somerset. — Duties  imposed  on  the 
Protector  by  the  high  office  which  he  holds — plan  of  a 
complete  reformation  in  England — preaching  of  the 
pure  word  of  God — rooting  out  of  abuses — correction 
of  vices  and  scandalous  offences,  .  .  .  182 

CCXXX.  To  Farel. — Election  of  new  magistrates  at  Geneva — 

troubles  in  France — letter  from  Bucer,  .  .  198 

CCXXXI.  To  John  Sturm. — Evidences  of  faith  and  Christian  stead- 
fastness, amid  the  dangers  that  threaten  the  Church,  .  200 


1549. 

CCXXXII.  To  Madame  de  Cant. — Exhortation  to  a  courageous  and 

honest  profession  of  the  truth,  ....  201 

CCXXXIII.  To  Mademoiseijle  de  .  .  .  . — Exhortations  to  steadfast- 
ness in  the  faith — acknowledgment  of  liberality,  .  205 
CCXXXIY.  To  THE  Ministers  op  the  Church  of  Montbeliard. — Ex- 
hortations to  discharge  to  the  end  their  ministerial 
duties,             .            .            .            .            .  .208 

CCXXXV.  To  Henry  Bullinger. — Hope  of  Union  with  the  theolo- 
gians of  Zurich — dedication  of  several  writings,  .  210 
CCXXXVI.  To  Bucer. — Consolations  to  be  found  in  the  study  of  di- 
vine and  everlasting  truth,      ....  212 

CCXXXVn.  To  THE  Pastors  of  the  Church  op  Berne. — Desire  of 

union  between  the  Churches  of  Berne  and  Geneva,     .  214 
CCXXXVm.  To  Viret.— Death  of  Idelette  de  Bure,  the  wife  of  Cal- 
vin,    .  .  .  .  .  .  .216 

CCXXXIX.  To  Farel.— Further  details  regarding  the  death  of  Ide- 
lette de  Bure,  .  .  .  .  .  .217 

CCXL.  To  Madame  de  Cany. — Account  of  the  instructive  death 

of  Madame  Laurent  de  Normandie,     .  .  .219 

CCXLI.  To  YiRET.  —  Various  particulars  —  recommendation  of 

Francis  Hotman,  Jurisconsult,  .  .  .223 

CCXLII.  To  Henry  Bullinger. — Pleading  in  favour  of  the  alli- 
ance of  the  Eeformed  Cantons  with  France,     .  .  225 
CCXLIII.  To  Madame  de  la  Eoche-Posay. — He  exhorts  her  and 
her  companions  to  live  in  conformity  with  the  law  of 

God, 229 

CCXLTV.  To  Bucer. — Encouragements  and  consolations — desire  for 
the  conclusion  of  peace  between  France  and  England 
— excesses  of  the  ultra-Lutheran  party  in  Switzerland 
and  Germany — agreement  between  the  Churches  of  Ge- 
neva and  Zurich,         .....  232 


CONTENTS.  9 

UTTER  FAOE 

CCXLV.  To  Lady  Anne  Seymour. — Tlianks  to  the  Duchess  of  Somer- 
set, the  mother  of  Anne  Seymour — exhortation  to  perse- 
verance in  the  true  faith,  ....  236 

CCXLYI.  To  Farel.— Reply  by  the  Protector  of  England  to  a  letter 

from  Calvin,       .  .  .  .  .  .238 

CCXLVII.  To  Farel. — Imprisonment  of  two  brothers  of  M.  de  Falais 

— persecution  in  the  Low  Countries  and  in  France,         .  239 
CCXLVIII.  To  YiRET. — Negotiations  iu  reference  to  the  publication  of 

the  Consensus — George,  Count  of  Montbeliard,  .  240 

CCXLIX.  To  THE  Pastors  of  the  Church  op  Zurich. — Urgent  re- 
commendation of  the  adoption  of  a  fixed  formulary  in  the 
celebration  of  the  Lord's  Supper,  .  .  .  241 

CCL.  To  BuLLiNQEB. — Rcvlsal  of  the  Formulary — persecutions 

in  France,  ......  243 

CCLI.  To  Farel  and  Viret. — Letter  concerning  Yergerio — his- 
tory of  Francis  Spira,    .....  245 

CCLII.  To  Farel. — Criticism  on  a  work  by  Farel,  .  .  246 

CCLIII.  To  YiRET. — First  mention  of  Theodore  Beza — poverty  of 

Calvin's  colleagues,        .....  248 

CCLIY.  To  John  Haller. — A  reformer's  complaints  on  the  malevo- 
lence of  the  Bernese  ministers,    ....  249 

CCLY.  To  "Wolfgang  Musoulus. — Prohibition  of  the  Yaudois  Con- 
ferences— remonstrances  on  the  intolerance  of  the  Ber- 
nese ministers  towards  those  of  France,  .  .  .  251 
CCLYI.  To  Monsieur  de  Saint  Laurens. — Statement  of  leading 

articles  of  the  Reformed  Faith, ....  253 


1550. 

CCLYIL  To  THE  Protector  Somerset. — Congratulations   on   the 
royal  favour  shown  to  the  Duke  of  Somerset — use  to  be 
made  of  his  influence  for  spreading  the  Gospel  in  England,  257 
CCLYin.  To  Farel. — Tidings  from  Germany  and  England — recom- 
mendation of  a  domestic,  ....  262 

CCLIX.  To  Farel.— Election  of  a  new  Pope,  .  .  .264 

CCLX.  To  Francis  Dryander. — Counsels  and  encouragements — 

collection  of  Commentaries  on  Isaiah  by  Des  Gallars,    .  265 
CCLXI.  To  Nicolas  Colladon. — Settlement  of  the  Colladon  family 

at  Geneva,  ......  266 

CCLXn.  To  the  Seioneury  op  Geneva. — Notice  of  a  publication 

attributed  to  Gruet,        .....  268 

CCLXIII.  To  Melanchthon. — Controversies  excited  in  Germany  by 

the  establishment  of  the  Interim — brotherly  reproofs,      .  270 
2 


10  CONTENTS. 

LETTER  PAGE 

CCLXrV.  To  YiRET. — Hope  of  au  early  visit  from  Viret— projected 

excursions  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Geneva,     .  .  275 

CCLXV.  To  Farel. — Opinion  regarding  Vergerio — intelligence  re- 
garding Bucer — letter  to  Melanchthon — disputes  with 
Berne — literary  publications  of  Calvin,  .  .  276 

CCLXYI.  To  William  Kabot. — Exhortation   to  the  study  of  the 

Scriptures,        ......  278 

CCLXVII.  To  Farel. — Publication  of  the  book  on  Scandals — per- 
secution by  the  King  of  France — Bucer's  discourage- 
ment,   .  .  .  .  .  .  .279 

CCLXVIII,  To  Farel. — State  of  religion  in  England — Calvin's  lite- 

i-ary  labours — arrival  of  Robert  Stephens  at  Geneva,  .  282 
CCLXIX.  To  Monsieur  de  Falais. — Misconduct  of  a  servant  of 

M.  de  Falais,   .  .  .  ,  .  .285 


1551. 

CCLXX.  To  Haller. — Explanations  on  the  subject  of  the  aboli- 
tion of  the  great  festivals  at  Geneva,  .  .  .  287 
CCLXXI.  To  Viret. — Criticism    of  a   mandate  published  by  the 

Seigneurs  of  Berne,       .....  289 

CCLXXII.  To  Bichard  Le  Fevre. — Explanations  regarding  various 
points  of  doctrine  in  dispute  between  the  Romish  and 
the  Reformed  Churches,  ....  291 

CCLXXni.  To  Yiret. — Various  particulars — literary  labours  of  Theo- 
dore Beza,        ......  298 

CCLXXIV.  To  THE  King  of  England. — He  exhorts  him  to  persevere 
in  the  work  of  the  Reformation  in  his  kingdom — enu- 
meration of  abuses,  ceremonies,  ecclesiastical  elections 
— universities,  ......  299 

CCLXXV.  To  BuLLiNGER. — He  excuses  the  infrequency  of  his  letters, 

and  urges  the  publication  of  the  Consensus,     .  .  304 

CCLXXVI.  To  BuLLiNGER. — Thanks  for  a  document — dedication  of 
two  commentaries  to  the  King  of  England — captivity 
of  Bishop  Hooper — movements  of  the  Emperor  in  Ger- 
many,  .  .  .  .  .  .  .306 

CCLXXVH.  To  BuLLiNGER. — Mention  of  a  letter  to  the  Duke  of  So- 
merset— re-opening  of  the  Council  of  Trent — symptoms 
of  war  in  Europe,         .....  308 

CCLXXVIH.  To  Viret.— Death  of  Bucer  and  Joachim  Vadian,  .  310 

CCLXXIX.  To  Farel. — Renewed  expressions  of  regret  for  the  death 
of  Vadian  and  Bucer — controversies  excited  by  Osian- 
der — numerous  migrations  to  Geneva — commencement 
of  hostilities  in  Italy,    .....  311 


CONTENTS. 


11 


I£TT£B  PAGE 

CCLXXX.  To  A  French  Gentleman. — Sickness  of  Theodore  Beza 

— Calvin's  grief,        .....  314 

CCLXXXI.  To  THE  Duke  of  Somerset. — Protestations  of  attach- 
ment— reforms  required  in  the  Church  of  England — 
squandering  of  the  revenues  of  benefices  and  of  the 
universities,    .  .  .  .  .  .315 

CCLXXXII.  To  Viret.— Reply  to  the  attacks  of  Pighius,  and  of 

George  of  Sicily,       .  .  .  .  .317 

CCLXXXlII.  To  THE  Ministers  op  Neuchatel. — Arrest  of  a  minis- 
ter from  Neuchatel  in  France — steps  for  obtaining 
his  release,    .  .  .  .  .  .318 

CCLXXXIY.  To  BuLLiNGEE. — Edict  of  Chateaubriand,  in  France — 

attacks  on  Calvin  in  Geneva,  .  .  .319 

CCLXXXY.  To  the  Ministers  of  Switzerland. — Statement  of  the 

controversy  with  Bolsec  regarding  Election,     .  .  322 

CCTiXXXYI.  To  Oswald  Myconius. — Recommendations   regarding 
the  dispute  with  Bolsec — request  on  behalf  of  the 
Protestants  of  France,  ....  326 

CCLXXXVn.  To  Christopher  Fabri. — Calvin's  dissatisfaction  with 
the  reply  of  the  ministers  of  Bale,  and  the  conduct  of 
Monsieur  de  Falais  regarding  the  affair  with  Bolsec,  327 
CCLXXXVin.  To  Farel. — Recommendation  of  a  schoolmaster — com- 
plaints against  the  ministers  of  Zurich,  .  .  328 
CCLXXXIX.  To  Lelio  Socin. — Refusal  to  reply  to  the  curious  ques- 
tions proposed  to  him  by  Socin,        .           .  .  330 


1552. 

CCXC.  To  Bullinger. — Thanks  for  the  zeal  manifested  on  be- 
half of  the  faithful  in  France — complaints  of  the  con- 
duct of  the  ministers  of  Zurich  in  the  affair  of  Bol- 
sec,   .  .  .  .  .  .  ,331 

CCXCT.  To  Farel. — Fresh  complaints  by  Calvin  against  the 
ministers  of  Zurich  and  Berne — his  unpopularity  in 
the  latter  city — advices  to  Farel,       .  .  .  335 

CCXCII.  To  Madame  de  Cany. — Rigorous  and  inflexible  spirit 

of  Calvin  against  heresy — praise  of  Theodore  Beza,  .  338 

CCXCIII,  To  Bullinger. — Journey  of  Calvin  and  Farel  in  Switz- 
erland— steps  in  favour  of  the  Reformed  in  France — 
return  to  the  affairs  of  Bolsec,  .  .  .  341 

CCXCIV.  To  Cranmer. — Agreement  to  the  proposal  for  assem- 
bling a  General  Synod  for  the  more  close  union  of  the 
Reformed  Churches,  .....  345 


12 


CONTENTS. 


LETTER 

CCXCV.  To  Bn.LiNGER. — Fresh  details  regarding  the  persecutions 
in  France,  ...... 

CCXCVI.  To  THE  Five  Prisoners  of  Lyons, — Martial  Alba,  Peter 
EscRivAiN,  Charles  Favre,  Peter  Naviheres,  Ber- 
nard Seguin. — Information  on  various  doctrinal  points, 
and  assurances  of  Christian  sympathy,    . 
CCXCYII.  To  Edward  YI. — Dedication  of  a  new  work,  and  Christian 
exhortations,       ...... 

CCXCVIII.  To  Cranmer. — Calvin  exhorts  him  to  prosecute  with  fresh 
zeal  the  reformation  of  the  Church  in  England,  by  purg- 
ing it  of  the  relics  of  Popery,      .... 

CCXCIX.  To  John  Liner. — Thanks  for  the  zeal  manifested  by  him 
on  behalf  of  the  prisoners  of  Lyons, 
CCC.  To  THE  French  Church  in  London. — Exhortations  to  har- 
mony— Is  it  lawful  to  call  Mary  the  Mother  of  God,  and 
to  pray  for  the  Pope  ?    . 
CCCI.  To  the  Seigneurs  op  Geneva. — Reply  of  Calvin  to  the 

Syndics  of  Geneva  in  the  case  of  Trolliet, 
CCCII.  To  Farel. — Conspiracy  of  the  Libertins — energy  of  the  Re- 
former— struggles  of  Viret  at  Lausanne, 
CCCIIT.  To  Viret. — Literary  labours  of  Theodore  Beza, 
CCCIV.  To  Ambroise  Blaurer. — Troubles  at  Geneva — sad  intelli- 
gence from  France  and  Germany — steady  in  the  pro- 
mises of  God,     ...... 

CCCY.  To  Melanchthon. — Earnest  desires  for  the  continuance  of 
their  mutual  afiFection — disputes  with  Trolliet — longing 
for  agreement  in  doctrine  regarding  the  Communion  and 
Election,  ...... 

CCCYI.  To  Monsieur  de  Falais. — Rupture  of  Calvin  with  the 
Seisrneur,  ...... 


349 


350 


354 


356 


358 


360 

363 

370 
372 


373 


375 


381 


1553. 

CCCYII.  To  Mathieu  Dimonet. — Exhortation  to  patience  and  con- 
stancy under  persecution,  ....  384 
CCCYin.  To  Christopher  Fabri. — Congratulations  on  the  subject 
of  his  approaching  marriage — Calvin's  regret  that  he  can- 
not be  present  at  the  ceremony,  ....  387 
CCCIX.  To  John  Cheke. — Calvin  apologizes  for  silence,  and  enjoins 
him  to  use  his  influence  with  the  King  for  the  advance- 
ment of  the  Gospel  in  England,  .  .  .  .389 
CCCX.  To  THE  Five  Prisoners  of  Lyons. — Exhortations  to  con- 
stancy—mention of  Oritz  the  Inquisitor,             .            .  391 
CCCXI.  To  Edward  YI. — Recommendation  of  a  French  gentle- 
man, a  prisoner  for  the  sake  of  the  Gospel,         .            .  393 


CONTENTS. 


13 


CCCXIL  To  Farel. — Serious  illness  and  unexpected  recovery  of 

Farel — Calvin's  joy,     .....  395 

CCCXJII.  To  Christopher  and  to  Thomas  Zollicoffre. — Last  steps 

in  favour  of  the  prisoners  of  Lyons,       .  .  .  396 

CCCXrV.  To  Cranmer. — He  entreats  his  influence  in  favour  of  the 

person  already  recommended  to  the  King,        .  .  398 

CCCXV.  To  Monsieur  de  IMarolles. — Christian  encouragement 

and  consolation,  .....  399 

CCCXYL  To  Viret. — Extinction  of  all  hope  in  regard  to  the  prison- 
ers of  Lyons,     ......  401 

CCCXVn.  To  Bulunger. — Assurances  of  respect  and  fraternal  affec- 
tion,    .  .  .  .  .  .  .402 

CCCXVIIL  To  the  Five  Prisoners  of  Lyons. — He  exhorts  them  to 
steadfastness  unto  the  end,  in  the  assurance  of  eternal 
joy  reserved  in  heaven,  ....  404 

CCCXIX.  To  Madame  de  Cany. — Expression  of  Christian  sympathy 

under  trial,       ......  408 

CCCXX.  To  the  Prisoners  of  Lyons. — He  impresses  on  them  the 
duty  of  maintaining  their  confession  of  the  truth  quietly 
and  modestly,   ......  411 

CCCXXL  To  BuLLiNGER. — Expression  of  regret  for  the  death  of  the 
King  of   England  —  sad  condition  of  the  German 
Churches,         ......  414 

CCCXXn.  To  Farel. — Arrest  of  Servetus,  and  institution  of  the 

process  against  him,     .  .  .  .  .416 

CCCXXin,  To  Denis  Peloquin  and  Louis  de  Marsac. — Information 
regarding  various  controverted  points — exhortation  to 
fidelity,  even  unto  martyrdom,  ....  418 

CCCXXTV.  To  HIS  Dearly  Beloved  the  Pastors  of  the  Church  of 
Frankfort. — Request  for  the  destruction  of  the  copies 
at  Frankfort  of  the  book  of  Servetus,  .  .  .  422 

CCCXXV.  To  Viret.— Troubles  at  Geneva— Berthelier  and  the  chiefs 

of  the  Libertins  are  refused  admission  to  the  Lord's  Table,  423 
CCCXXVI.  To  Bullinger. — Deep  anxiety  on  account  of  the  condi- 
tion of  the  English  Churches — Conference  of  the  Swiss 
Churches  in  regard  to  Servetus,  .  .  .  425 

CCCXXV  XL  To  SuLZER. — Statement  of  the  errors  of  Servetus,  and  of 

the  duty  of  the  Christian  magistrate  to  repress  them,  .  427 
CCCXXVni.  To  A  Captive  Lady. — He  consoles  her  under  her  trials, 
and  exhorts  her  to  use  every  means  to  secure  her  retreat 
to  Geneva,        ......  430 

CCCXXIX.  To  THE  Believers  in  the  Lsles. — Religious  counsels,  and 

announcement  of  the  sending  of  a  minister,       .  .  432 

CCCXXX.  To  Farel. — Acknowledgment  of  Farel 's  care  for   the 

Church  of  Geneva,        .....  434 


14  CONTENTS. 

LETTER  PAGE 

CCCXXXI.  To  Farei..— Deliverance  by  the  Swiss  Churches  re- 
garding Servetus — vain  efforts  of  Calvin  to  obtain  a 
mitigation  of  his  punishment,  .  .  ,  435 

CCCXXXIT.  To  Madame  de  Pons. — He  encourages  her  to  come  out 

of  the  spiritual  bondage  in  which  she  is  held,  .  436 

CCCXXXni.  To  YiRET. — Recommendation  of  several  English  refu- 
gees in  Switzerland,  .....  439 

CCCXXXIY.  To  Bollinger. — Appeal  to  the  Magistrates  of  Zurich 
in  reference  to  ecclesiastical  discipline — thanks  for  the 
aid  afforded  by  the  ministers  of  that  Church  in  the 
affair  of  Servetus,  .....  440 
CCCXXXV.  To  THE  Pastors  and  Doctors  of  the  Church  of  Zu- 
rich.— Account  of  the  struggles  at  Geneva  for  the 
maintenance  of  ecclesiastical  discipline — appeal  to  the 
Pastors  of  Zurich  for  their  influence  with  the  magis- 
trates of  that  town,   .....  442 

CCCXXXYI.  To  Bollinger. — Fresh  details  regarding  ecclesiastical 
discipline — hope  of  speedy  realization — announcement 
of  the  publication  of  a  book  against  the  errors  of 
Servetus,        ......  447 

CCCXXXYII.  To  Farel. — Assistance  afforded  to  the  faithful  refugees 
in  Switzerland — reply  of  the  Churches  on  the  subject 
of  ecclesiastical  discipline,      ....  448 

CCCXXXV  III.  To  AN  Italian  Lady. — He  exhorts  her  to  withdraw,  by 
a  voluntary  exile,  from  the  persecution  and  idolatry 
reigning  in  Italy,       .....  450 

CCCXXXIX.  To  A  Seigneur  of  Jersey. — Christian  exhortations — 

sending  of  a  minister,  ....  453 


CALVIN'S  LETTEES. 


CXLIT.— To  ViEET.' 

Unpopularity  of  Calvin — various  advices. 

[Geneva,  Sej>temher  1545.] 

When  a  crowd  of  the  godly  had  come  hither,  and  I  heard 
some  things  which  it  was  of  great  consequence  you  should  know, 
I  wished  two  of  them  at  once  to  set  out  for  you.  You  will 
understand  that  Satan  seeks  by  every  sort  of  artful  con- 
trivance to  keep  all  men  from  thinking  of  succouring  these 
people,  and  to  give  a  keener  edge  to  the  ferocity  of  the  King 
and  courtiers,  which  is  already  more  than  sufficiently  whetted 
against  them.  The  Swiss  also  are  uncommonly  severe  upon 
me,  not  only  the  pensionaries,  but  all  those  who  have  no  other 
wisdom  than  that  of  Epicurus,  because,  by  my  importunity, 
I  have  drawn  down  upon  their  nation  the  hatred  of  the 
King.     But  may  there  be  nothing  of  such  moment  as  shall 

'  The  letters  of  the  Cantons  to  the  King,  in  favour  of  the  Vaudois  of  Provence, 
only  served  to  irritate  that  monarch.  Ho  passionately  replied, — "The  Vaudois 
Lave  but  received  the  just  punishment  of  their  crimes.  Besides,  the  Swiss  have 
no  more  right  to  busy  themselves  with  what  passes  in  my  liingdom,  than  I  have  to 
make  inquiry  into  what  they  do  at  home." — Jlistoire  de  la  Cunfdtl&alion  Suisse, 
vol.  xi.  p.  289.  The  failure  of  those  proceedings  redounded  to  the  discredit  of 
Calvin  with  the  people,  as  he  had  been  the  instigator  of  them.  His  adversaries 
went  about  reiterating  everywhere  that  he  had  compromised  the  most  valued 
interests  of  the  Cantons,  by  drawing  upon  them  the  enmity  of  the  King  of 
France. 

(15) 


16  MONSIEUR  DE   FALAIS.  [1545. 

retard  us  in  the  discharge  of  our  duty  beyond  what  cannot  be 
avoided. 

Charles  the  schoolmaster,  on  whose  account  Sebastian  abused 
me,  has  deserted  his  post,  induced  by  what  prospect  I  know 
not.  We  have  appointed  Francis  his  successor;  but  as  he 
had  received  one  month's  payment  out  of  the  salary  of  your 
school,  it  seemed  the  more  honourable  course  that  he  should 
previously  request  permission  and  his  discharge  from  the  Bernese 
Council,  a  matter  in  which,  as  I  trust,  there  will  be  no  diffi- 
culty. A  maternal  uncle  also  of  our  colleague  Peter  sought  a 
recommendation  [for  him,]  which  he  brings  with  him.  If  you 
think  it  calledfor,you  will  likewiselend  the  aid  of  your  suffrage. 
We  have  always  found  him  an  excellent  and  ingenuous  man, 
peaceable  and  modest.  He  is  said,  for  instance,  to  have 
laboured  faithfully,  and  with  success,  in  the  vineyard  of  the 
Lord  in  Provence. 

Adieu;  may  the  Lord  be  ever  present  with  you. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Laf.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.     Yol.  106.] 


CXLY. — To  Monsieur  de  Falais.* 

Exhortation  to  glorify  God  amid  poverty  and  persecution. 

[September  1545.] 

Monsieur, — Although  I  do  not  know  the  state  of  mind  or 
body  in  which  you  are  at  present,  nevertheless,  I  have  good 
confidence  in  God  that,  whether  in  health  or  sickness,  he  gives 
you  strength  to  overcome  all  the  annoyance  you  may  have  to 
encounter.    For  you  are  no  novice  in  the  fight,  seeing  that  for 

'  Letter  without  date,  written  at  the  same  time  as  the  following,  (September 
1545.)  Summoned  in  the  name  of  the  Emperor  to  leave  Strasbourg  and  return  to 
Brabant,  M.  de  Falais  had  not  obeyed  that  command.  This  refusal,  in  stirring  up 
the  imperial  displeasure  against  him,  had  e.\posed  him,  without  defence,  to  the 
interested  denunciations  of  his  enemies.  The  butt  of  most  calumnious  accusations, 
he  saw  his  character  misunderstood,  his  name  outraged,  his  property  put  under 
sequestration,  while  ho  pined  away  himself — a  prey  to  sickness  and  discour- 
agement. 


1545.]  MONSIEUR  DE   FALAIS.  17 

a  long  time  past  the  good  Lord  lias  begun  to  prepare  you  for 
it;  and  nothing  has  happened  to  you  which  you  had  not 
looked  for  beforehand.  But  it  is  time  to  show  in  reality  that 
when  you  have  set  yourself  frankly  to  follow  Jesus  Christ,  you 
have  not  done  so  without  being  resolved  to  hold  fellowship  with 
him  at  the  cross,  since  he  has  done  us  that  honour  to  be 
crucified  in  us,  to  glorify  us  with  himself.  And  there  is  no 
doubt,  even  at  the  time  when  you  were  in  your  own  mansion, 
and  in  the  peaceable  enjoyment  of  your  property,  you  would 
have  had  the  courage  to  quit  everything  had  it  so  pleased  him, 
and  that  you  were  of  the  number  of  those  who  use  the  things 
of  this  loorld  as  not  abusing  them,  (1  Cor.  vii.  31.)  But, 
forasmuch  as  it  is  very  reasonable  that  one  should  be  taught 
by  experience  to  discern  what  our  affection  is  most  set 
upon,  you  are  to  consider  that  it  has  been  our  Lord's  will  to 
give  you  to  many  others  for  an  example,  and,  by  this  means, 
to  glorify  his  name  in  you. 

On  the  other  hand,  we  know  not  what  it  is  to  part  with 
everything  for  the  love  of  him,  until  he  has  brought  us  to  the 
test.  True  it  is,  that  he  who  has  taken  off  his  affection  from 
the  goods  of  this  world  has  already  sold  all,  and  has  made  him- 
self poor,  so  far  as  depends  upon  himself;  but  the  fruit  and  the 
proof  of  this  spiritual  poverty  are,  patiently  to  endure  the  loss 
of  worldly  goods,  and  without  any  regret,  when  it  pleases  our 
heavenly  Father  that  we  should  be  despoiled  of  them.  I  do 
not  set  these  things  before  you  as  to  one  who  is  ignorant,  or 
who  has  need  of  lengthy  remonstrances,  but  for  the  love  that  I 
bear  you,  of  which  God  is  my  witness.  I  take  comfort  along 
with  you,  as  I  also  suffer  in  your  person. 

The  time  then  is  arrived  when  you  must  manifest  that  you 
reckon  all  things  no  more  than  dung,  that  you  may  reach  forward 
to  Him  who  not  only  has  bestowed  on  you  all  his  benefits,  but 
also  himself.  And  since  God  has  permitted  that  you  should  be 
disburdened  of  a  part  of  your  worldly  goods,  you  are  to  con-  • 
sider  that  he  has  clearly  perceived  that,  for  the  present,  they 
would  prove  a  useless  fardel  for  you.  I  say  a  part,  albeit  that, 
as  it  were,  the  whole  has  been  snatched  away  from  you,  yet,  so 
that  there  remains,  as  I  hope,  an  abundance  for  your  use.  These 
3 


18  MONSIEUR   DE   FALAIS.  [1545. 

whirlpools,  however,  which  engulf  the  whole  world,  have  daily 
greater  want  than  those  whose  substance  they  have  swal- 
lowed down. 

In  short,  you  have  not  been  lessened  one  whit,  seeing  that  our 
Lord,  while  teaching  you  that  your  inheritance  is  in  heaven,  has 
made  provision  for  what  might  be  useful  for  the  life  of  the 
body,  by  bestowing  contentment  upon  you,  and,  as  regards  pro- 
perty, more  than  was  needful  to  make  you  contented.  If  the 
whole  should  be  taken  away  from  you,  there  would  yet  remain 
the  consolation  to  which  we  must  chiefly  betake  ourselves, 
namely,  to  yield  ourselves  up  entirely.  It  is  certain,  that  hav- 
ing the  Son  of  God,  we  suffer  no  injury  in  being  deprived  of  all 
else:  for  thus  highly  ought  we  indeed  to  prize  him.  But 
further,  since  this  kind  Saviour  has  so  benignly  upheld  you, 
that  while  calling  you  to  the  fellowship  of  his  cross,  he  has 
provided  for  your  worldly  comfort,  it  is  quite  fitting  that  you 
submit  yourself  to  his  good  pleasure,  and,  besides,  rejoice  that 
in  being  minished,  so  far  as  the  world  is  concerned,  you  are 
thereby  so  much  the  more  exalted  before  him  and  his  angels. 
For  howsoever  the  world  strives,  by  all  means,  to  bury  Jesus 
Christ  in  ignominy,  his  burial  cannot  be  otherwise  than 
glorious,  not  only  in  himself,  but  also  in  his  members.  Let 
us  therefore  endure  personal  humiliation,  as  shall  seem  good 
to  him.  But  my  letters  would  never  come  to  an  end  were  I  to 
follow  out  the  drift  of  this  discourse.  Therefore,  Monseigneur, 
after  having  humbly  commended  me  to  your  kind  favour,  I 
pray  our  good  Lord  that  he  would  so  work  in  you  now  more 
powerfully  than  ever,  to  make  you  despise  all  that  is  in  the 
world,  and  to  make  you  breathe  upwards  direct  to  him  with 
your  whole  heart,  without  being  turned  aside  by  anything  what- 
soever, making  you  taste  what  is  the  worth  of  the  hope  which 
he  reserves  for  us  in  heaven ;  and  that  it  may  please  him  to 
lighten  your  burden  as  regards  the  body,  in  order  that  you  may 
be  all  the  better  disposed,  well  to  meditate  upon  the  favours  he 
has  bestowed  upon  you,  and  to  take  delight  in  them,  acknow- 
ledging the  love  which  he  has  shewn  you.  My  wife,  who  is  sick 
in  bed,  begs  also  to  be  humbly  commended  to  your  kind  re- 
membrance.    This  bearer,  who  is  of  the  better  sort,  and  of  the 


1545.]  MADAME    DE   FALAIS.  19 

Stamp  such  as  you  require,  will  inform  you  more  at  large  con- 
cerning our  state. 

Your  humble  brother,  servant,  and  assured  friend, 

JouN  Calvin. 

[Fr.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  194.] 


CXLYI. — To  Madame  de  Falais. 

Congratulations  on  the  constancy  manifested  by  her  in  the  midst  of  trials — saluta- 
tions from  the  suffering  Idelette  de  Bure. 

From  Geneva,  this  \%th  September  [1545.] 

Madame, — I  have  not  leisure  to  write  at  such  length  as  I 
willingly  would,  on  account  of  the  state  in  which  we  are.  The 
present  letter  shall  be  solely  to  praise  our  good  Lord  for  the 
trust  which  he  has  bestowed  on  you,  enlarging  your  heart  in 
the  midst  of  anxieties,  by  which  it  might  have  been  tried,  with- 
out your  having  his  comfort  from  on  high.  Whatsoever  may 
happen,  if  we  have  the  patience  to  hearken  to  our  Saviour,  he 
will  always  give  us  wherewithal  to  rejoice  our  spirits,  and  will 
make  us  taste  and  feel,  in  a  lively  way,  that  it  is  not  in  vain 
that  he  has  promised  to  make  us  unconquerable  in  tribulations. 
Now,  then,  learn  in  reality  what  that  beautiful  promise  is  worth, 
that  we  are  indeed  happy,  when  all  the  world  shall  speak  ill 
of  us,  and  shall  hate  us,  and  shall  persecute  us  for  his  name's 
sake.  Therefore  it  is,  that  he  has  prepared  you,  long  before 
exposing  you  to  danger.  To  this  truth  it  is  that  you  must 
now  recur,  that  you  may  acquiesce  in  it ;  and,  indeed,  he  is 
actually  leading  you  thither  by  the  hand. 

Wherefore  are  we  not  together,  to  provoke  Satan,  by  meditat- 
ing upon  the  things  which  may  well  cause  us  spiritual  rejoicing, 
and  give  us  matter  for  glorying  more  than  ever,  even  when 
we  are  utterly  discomfited  according  to  the  world's  estimation  ? 
But  I  am  aware  that  you  have  no  need  of  my  fellowship  in  that ; 
and  besides,  I  say  so,  more  to  content  myself  than  because  of 
your  necessity.  Above  all,  understand  that  now  the  hour  is 
come  when  you  must  shew  what  a  helpmeet  you  are  to  Mon- 
seigneur  your  husband,  in  such  a  sort  that  he  may  always  have 


20  MONSIEUR  DE  PALAIS.  [1545. 

occasion  to  bless  God,  as  he  has  had  hitherto,  for  having  pro- 
vided him  with  such  a  support.  I  say  this,  because  I  consider 
that  it  is  the  principal  one  that  God  has  left  him  as  regards 
the  creature,  without  having  deprived  him  of  all.  I  see  clearly, 
though  absent,  by  what  zeal  you  are  urged  forward  to  acquit 
yourself  of  duty,  and  what  trouble  you  take  to  employ  your- 
self therein.  For  which  reason,  what  I  now  speak  is  not  so 
much  by  way  of  exhortation  as,  while  congratulating,  to  up- 
hold you  in  that  good  courage  which  God  has  given. 

I  address  to  your  care  some  reply  which  I  have  made  to  the 
sister  of  Monseigneur,  who  is  at  Mons,  to  a  communication 
which  she  sent  lately  to  the  wife  of  Saint- Andrd.  If  it  seem 
good  to  you,  you  can  cause  forward  it  to  her,  with  this  which 
I  send  to  the  sister  of  Monsieur  David.  I  submit  the  whole 
to  your  good  discretion. 

To  conclude,  Madame  and  very  honoured  sister,  after  having 
affectionately  commended  me  to  your  kind  favour,  and  having 
also  presented  to  you  the  humble  commendations  of  my  wife, 
who  lies  sick  in  bed,  I  entreat  our  good  Lord  to  fill  you  with  all 
grace,  daily  to  increase  his  glory  in  you,  and  to  triumph  in 
your  constancy,  in  order  that  finally  we  may  be  also  partakers 
of  his  glory  which  he  has  promised  us. 
Your  servant  and  humble  brother, 

John  Calvin. 

[Fr.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  194.] 


CXLVII. — To  Monsieur  de  Falais.^ 

Vanity  of  trust  reposed  in  the  princes  of  this  world — confidence  in  God, 

Monseigneur, — I  hope  that,  when  these  present  shall  reach 
you,  they  will  find  you,  by  the  favour  of  our  kind  Lord,  in  such 
state  of  mind  and  bodily  health  as  we  desire,  and  likewise 
Madame  your  wife.    The  news,  however,  which  we  have  had 

'  This  letter,  without  date,  seems  to  have  been  written  at  the  same  epoch,  and  under 
the  same  circumstances  as  the  two  preceding  letters. 


1545.]  MONSIEUR   DE   FALAIS.  21 

of  the  sickness  of  both  has  grieved  us,  and  will  do  so  until 
we  receive  other  which  may  gladden  us.  Besides,  there  is 
reason  indeed  that  we  should  live  and  that  we  should  die  to 
Him  who  has  purchased,  in  order  to  be  every  way  glorified 
in  us,  and  that  we  shew  practically  that  we  are  his,  submitting 
ourselves  entirely  to  him  in  true  obedience,  which  is  not  in  our 
power  to  do  without  resigning  and  giving  up  our  persons  to 
him,  so  that  he  dispose  of  them  as  shall  seem  good  to  himself. 
If  it  please  him  to  prolong  life,  we  must  prepare  to  see 
much  poverty  in  the  Christian  Church.  We  see  the  dispersion 
and  complete  disorder  there  is  in  it  at  present.  Hope  of  amend- 
ment there  appears  none  on  the  side  of  the  world ;  for  to  befool 
one's-self  in  relying  upon  princes,  that  is  labour  lost.  They 
have,  besides,  so  many  hindrances,  that  they  have  not  leisure  to 
think  about  what  ought  to  be  the  chief  consideration  of  all.  In 
short,  they  are  entirely  taken  up  with  their  civil  state,  for  the 
sake  of  which  they  will  persecute  Jesus  Christ,  thinking  that 
there  is  no  other  method  of  maintaining  it.  It  will  be  nothinsr 
new,  however,  if,  though  only  for  shame's  sake,  they  should 
make  a  pretence  of  applying  a  remedy  for  such  horrible  con- 
fusion, on  account  of  which  both  heaven  and  earth  cry  out. 
"Wherefore,  it  only  remains  for  us  to  pray  God  that  it  may 
please  him  to  strengthen  us  with  true  constancy  in  the  midst 
of  these  scandals,  in  such  a  way  that  nothing  may  seduce  us, 
but  that  we  may  persevere  always.  And  also,  that  he  would 
look  in  pity  upon  his  Church,  and  put  forth  the  hand  to  lift 
her  up  again,  fulfilling  that  which  the  prophet  has  said,  that 
seeing  that  he  had  no  lielper  among  men,  lie  has  put  forth  the 
strength  of  his  arm,  (Isa.  lix.  16.) 

In  conclusion,  let  us  employ  ourselves  in  his  service,  la- 
bouring without  growing  weary  or  losing  courage,  until  he 
call  us  away  into  that  blessed  rest  where  we  have  contentment 
ia  himself,  delighting  ourselves  in  the  labours  we  shall  have 
undergone,  receiving  then  the  recompense  of  reward  whichshall 
be  there  revealed  to  us. 

Now  therefore,  Monsieur,  after  humble  commendation  to 
your  favour  and  that  of  Madame,  I  beseech  the  good  Lord  to 
uphold  you  in  real  prosperity,  continuing  his  graces  in  you, 


22  FAREL.  [1545. 

so  that  to  the  end  you  may  be  instruments  of  his  glory,  and 
that  he  may  be  your  sanctification. 

Your  servant  and  humble  brother  ever, 

Charles  d'Espeville. 

[Fr.  oriff.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  194.] 


CXLYIII.— To  Farel.i 

Captivity  of  Farel's  brother — ravages  of  the  plague  in  Geneva. 

[September  1545.] 

You  will  hear  sad  news;  for  this  person  will  inform  you  that 
your  brother  Gautier'^  is  lying  in  fetters,  and  in  imminent  peril 
of  his  life.  The  very  thing  that  I  always  feared,  and  that  I  fore- 
told would  occur,  has  happened ;  and  in  this  I  regret  that  I 
have  not  proved  a  false  prophet.  But  of  what  avail  are  such 
complaints?  With  regard  to  helping  him,  I  do  not  know  how 
far  it  is  in  the  power  of  the  Bernese  to  do  so,  nor  what,  at  this 
time,  they  may  be  willing  to  undertake.  You  will  know  these 
things  better  than  I.  There  is  no  hope  of  obtaining  any 
seasonable  assistance  from  Germany,  unless  by  means  of  Johu 
Sturm,  who,  however  well  disposed  he  may  be  towards  the 
cause,  is  not,  so  far  as  things  have  gone,  friendly  to  your 
brother.  Would  that  you  had  thought  better,  while  there  was 
time,  of  what  it  is  to  offend  a  friend  who  deserved  well.  Be- 
sides, you  are  not  ignorant  of  the  fact,  that  there  are  servile 
persons  who  wish,  at  this  time  of  the  day,  to  approve  their 
obsequiousness  to  the  princes.  Yet,  if  you  shall  be  of  opinion 
that  it  will  be  useful  to  attempt  something  in  that  quarter,  your 
influence  with  Sturm  himself  is  great.  You  have,  however, 
your  own  Bucer,  to  whom  he  never  ventured  to  refuse  any- 
thing ;  but  it  is  a  long  circuit.  Let  him,  therefore,  accelerate 
the  movements  of  the  Bernese,  lest  the  remedy  come  too  late. 

We  are  surprised  that  we  have  had  no  announcement  re- 

'  Letter  without  date,  and  without  conclusion,  written  during  the  attack  of  the 
plague,  under  which  the  minister  (Jenistou  succumbed,  that  is  to  saj',  in  September  1545. 

"  Guutier  Farcl,  brother  to  the  Reformer.  He  was  very  soon  afterwards  restored  to 
liberty,  contrary  to  all  expectation. 


1545.]  FAREL.  23 

gurding  yourself,  Viret  made  me  aware  of  the  resolution  that 
liad  been  come  to  by  the  brethren ;  but,  as  far  as  lean  gather 
from  his  letter,  nothing  has  been  done  in  the  Council.  IIow 
long,  therefore,  will  the  matter  remain  in  doubt?  Here,  as 
you  know,  we  are  in  great  straits:  you  are  away  frorn  us  ; 
Matthasus  is  occupied  in  the  hospital  for  those  who  are  suftering 
from  the  plague.  In  the  meantime,  while  we  are  calling  upon 
you  to  come,  we  have  lost  our  very  excellent  brother  and 
most  faithful  colleague  Geniston.'  What  if  the  others  should 
likewise  be  taken  away  ?  What  if  one  only  should  survive,  [I 
myself?]  What  if  the  ministers  be  shut  up  by  themselves, 
through  the  absurd  superstition  of  our  townsmen  ? — just  as 
lately  a  large  number  was  within  a  little  of  being  so  confined. 
Consider,  therefore,  these  our  difficulties,  lest  you  put  us  off 
longer  than  is  right.  But  what  Viret  mentions  that  your  people 
have  added,  viz:  that  you  are  conceded  to  us,  on  the  condition 
of  our  being  able  to  bring  about  the  succession  of  Toussain,  is 
certainly  ridiculous;  for  what  can  we  do  in  that  matter,  or  in 
what  way  shall  we  attempt  the  business  ?  The  short  of  it  is,  we 
by  no  means  prescribe  a  definite  time,  but  we  desire  you  to 
use  your  utmost  diligence  to  disengage  yourself  from  the  place 
where  you  are,  in  order  that  you  may  forthwith  repair  to  us 
unfettered;'^  for  we  are  now  sadly  in  want  of  your  presence,  as 
you  may  judge  from  our  condition.  The  wife  of  Geniston  is, 
at  the  same  time,  in  the  death-throes,  his  little  girl  is  wearing 
away,  and  his  little  boy  is  now  given  over.  .  .  . 
[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Lihnirtj  of  Geneva.     Yol.  106.] 

'  The  minister,  Louis  de  Geniston,  following  tlio  noble  example  of  Pierre 
Blanchet,  cut  oflf  by  the  plague  in  154.3,  had,  of  his  own  accord,  ofTorcd  himself  for 
the  service  of  the  hospital  set  apart  for  those  afflicted  with  the  plague.  Ho  fell 
under  it,  a  victim  of  his  devotedness,  in  September  1545.  His  wife  and  two 
of  his  children  were  carried  off  a  few  diX3's  afterwards  by  the  scourge,  which  almost 
wholly  depopulated  several  quarters  of  the  city. 

^  There  exists  (Imp.  Lib.  Jiecueil  Hist.,  de  France,  vol.  xix.)  a  piece  entitled 
Lcpida  Farelli  Vucatto.  In  that  letter  Calvin  vigorously  urges  his  friend  to  repair 
to  Geneva,  by  calling  to  mind  the  religious  violence  with  which  ho  was  himself 
detained  there,  by  the  voice  of  Farel,  at  the  time  of  his  first  entrance  into  that  city 
in  15.36.  "  Do  you  expect  that  I  should  thunder  as  you  were  wont  to  do,  when  you 
wished  forcibly  to  draw  me  hither  ?"'  The  urgencies  of  Calvin  were  fruitless, 
and  the  Church  of  Neuchatel  retained,  for  twenty  years  longer,  the  services  and 
the  indefatigable  activity  of  Farel. 


24  viRET.  [1545, 


CXLIX.— To  ViRET. 

Dispersion  of  the  School  at  Geneva — contests  at  Neuchatel  on  the  subject  of  church 
property — Calvin's  opinion  of  Farel. 

24:th  October  1545. 

We  shall  wait  until-  you  either  restore  Francis  to  us,  or 
send  Erasmus.  As,  meanwhile,  the  school  is  dispersed,'  you 
must  make  haste.  If  both  of  these  courses  appear  to  you  tedious, 
or  attended  with  difficulty,  briefly  signify  so  to  us;  for  I  will 
send  for  a  person  from  Strasbourg,  who,  in  my  opinion,  will  be 
suitable,  although  I  would  rather  have  taken  one  from  this 
quarter.  With  regard  to  the  assislant-teacher,  I  do  not  venture 
upon  anything,  because  it  will  be  more  satisfactory  that  the 
person  who  has  the  superintendence  of  the  school  shall  have 
the  unfettered  power  of  selecting  whom  he  chooses. 

I  had  excused  myself  to  Farel,  but  he  remains  fixed  in  his 
purpose.^  It  would  not  only  be  ridiculous,  but  bordering  on 
imprudence,  to  undertake  to  correct  in  the  Neuchatelese  a  vice 
which  here  we  are  not  able  to  cure.  I  had  given  it  as  my 
advice,  that  it  would  be  better  to  draw  up  a  memorial,  in  which 
the  Princes  should  promise  that  they  would  be  always  ready  to 
make  restitution,  if  an  agreement  could  be  come  to  regarding 
legitimate  administration.  In  the  next  place,  I  advised  them, 
under  this  pretext,  to  put  a  stop  to  those  profane  alienations,  in 
order  that  the  matter  might  be  left  undecided  until  a  more 
favourable  time.  Farel  replies,  that  the  authority  of  the 
Princes  will  not  avail  much.  What  confidence  then  will  our 
letter  produce?  He  further  urges  me  to  enter  into  communica- 
tion with  Bucer,  in  order  to  obtain  from  the  Council  of  Stras- 
bourg a  letter  to  the  Council  of  Berne  to  this  purport : — That 

'  The  plague  had  dispersed  the  regents  and  students  of  the  College  of  Geneva, 
and  Calvin  was  labouring  at  the  re-organization  of  that  establishment.  He  had 
already  proposed  to  the  Council,  in  March  1545,  to  call  to  Geneva  the  celebrated 
Maturin  Cordier,  as  president  of  the  regents  /  but  this  proposal  ended  in  nothing,  and 
Maturin  Cordier  remained  at  Lausanne. 

*  Farel  was  then  at  strife  with  the  Seigneury  of  Neuchatel,  on  the  subject  of  the 
aJuiinistration  of  ecclesiastical  property. 


1545.]  viRET.  25 

it  had  been  pointed  out  to  them  that  the  Ncuchatelesedid  very 
wrong  in  squandering  the  goods  of  the  Church ;  and  that  it 
was  the  duty  of  the  Bernese  to  check  this  license.  lie  hopes 
that  a  letter  of  that  nature  would  also  do  good  at  Berne.  I,  on 
the  contrary,  hardly  think  that  the  people  of  Strasbourg  would 
write  such  a  letter,  as  they  would  be  afraid  of  increasing 
the  sore.  In  the  next  place,  if  they  should  write,  do  we  not 
know  that  their  admonition  would  be  laughed  at?  And, 
although  tlie  Bernese  were  in  the  highest  degree  desirous  to 
remedy  this  fault  of  the  Neuchatelese,  with  what  face  could 
they  set  about  it?  I  have  to  implore  that  they  will  not  venture 
to  reprehend  in  others  that  which  they  pertinaciously  defend  as 
lawfully  done  by  themselves.  I  may  therefore  say  of  Fare! 
what  Cicero  said  of  Cato,  "That  he  acts  indeed  with  good  judg- 
ment, but  in  counsel  does  not  always  shew  the  best."  The 
cause  of  this  is  chiefly,  that  beingcarried  awayby  the  vehemence 
of  his  zeal,  he  does  not  always  discern  what  is  expedient,  and 
either  does  not  foresee  dangers,  or  despises  them ;  and  there  is 
to  be  added  the  evil,  that  he  cannot  bear  with  patience  those 
who  do  not  comply  with  his  wishes.  But  what  could  I  do? 
for  I  will  not  be  induced  to  undertake  anything  which  I  think 
will  be  of  injurious  tendency. 

Christopher  will  tell  you  about  Champereau,'  and  I  will  write 
when  the  matter  has  come  to  an  end.  Adieu,  most  excellent 
brother,  and  most  sincere  friend.  I  have  not  yet  had  an  oppor- 
tunity of  meeting  Amddee.  I  will,  however,  fulfil  your  com- 
mission.— Adieu,  again,  including  your  wife,  aunt,  and  bro- 
thers. The  co-presbyters,  my  wife,  and  the  neighbours  re- 
spectfully salute  you. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[^Lat.  copy — Library  of  Geneva.     Yol.  111.] 

'  Rebuked  on  the  ground  of  his  morals,  this  minister  had  been  banished  to  a  country 
parish,  and  having  refused  to  submit  to  the  entire  Consistory,  he  had  received  his 
dismissal. 

4 


26  FAREL.  [1546. 

CL. — To  MONSIEUE  DE  Falais. 

Prayers  for  his  restoration  to  health. 

From  Geneva,  this  26th  of  October  [1545.] 

MoNSElGNEUR, — I  hope  that,  according  to  what  Antony 
Maillet  has  latterly  informed  ns,  you  are  better  in  body  and 
mind  than  usual,  for  which  I  thank  our  good  Lord,  beseeching 
him  fully  to  confirm  you;  for  I  doubt  not  but  the  sickness  has 
left  a  long  trail  of  feebleness.  But  He  who  has  begun  to  raise 
you  up,  will  perfect,  as  I  hope,  what  he  has  begun  by  his  in- 
finite goodness,  as  well  to  grant  the  prayers  of  his  servants  as 
to  shut  the  mouth  of  the  wicked,  so  that  they  take  not  occa- 
sion to  say  that  you  have  been  overcome  by  their  temptation ; 
for  you  are  aware  that  they  want  not  great  colour  for  their 
blasphemy.  Therefore,  God  will  shew  them  that  he  has  fitted 
you  to  receive  still  greater  assaults,  if  there  is  need ;  and  in  the 
meanwhile,  will  grant  us  the  favour  to  enjoy  a  longer  time  of 
you  to  our  singular  consolation.  When  we  shall  have  tidings 
from  yourselves,  they  will  rejoice  us  still  more. 

In  the  meantime.  Monsieur,  after  having  humbly  commended 
me  to  your  kind  favour  and  that  of  Madame,  and  having  pre- 
sented to  both  of  you  the  kind  remembrances  of  a  woman 
brought  back  to  life,  I  beseech  our  gracious  Lord  to  have  you 
always  in  his  holy  keeping,  multiplying  his  graces  in  you 
daily,  to  the  glory  of  his  name. 

Your  humble  brother,  servant,  and  entire  friend, 

John  Calvin. 

[Fr.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Yol.  194.] 

CLI.— To  Farel. 

News  from  Germany — ^journey  of  the  French  Amhassadors  to  Geneva — details  con- 
cerning the  condition  of  the  town. 

Geneva,  26th  January  1546. 

There  is  nothing  from  your  brothers  since  they  passed 
through  this  place.  I  briefly  indicated  my  opinion  to  Viret 
about  the  choice  of  a  colleague  for  you.  I  am  afraid  that 
farther  delay  may  involve  a  long  train  of  inconveniences,  which 


1546.]  FAREL.  27 

I  should  wish  to  be  guarded  against.  Feron,  our  brother,'  so 
far  as  I  see,  will  never  have  quiet  of  mind  until  he  is  translated 
elsewhere.  I  had  made  mention  of  him  to  Viret,  but  it  will 
be  for  you  to  consider  the  matter. 

My  brother  brought  back  no  news  from  Germany,  except 
that  the  Eatisbon  Assembly  pretends  that  our  party  continue 
their  deliberations  at  Frankfort,^  and  the  confident  report  of  a 
league,  or  at  least  a  friendly  alliance,  between  your  party  and 
the  King.  The  Emperor  was  also  said  to  be  laid  up  with  gout 
in  the  feet  or  hands.  The  King's  ambassador  in  that  quarter, 
when  passing  through,  supped  with  me.  We  talked  together 
familiarly,  for  he  acknowledges  being  under  some' obligation  to 
me.  I  again,  however,  urge  you  to  beware  lest  our  friends 
prove  too  compliant.  I  point  to  the  license  that  prevails  over 
the  whole  kingdom,  of  taking  cruel  measures  against  the  godly. 
"We  will  await  the  issue.  You  are  aware  that  the  Pope  is  now 
busying  himself  that,  by  means  of  false  pretences,  a  council 
may  be  held  at  Trent ;  we  do  not,  however,  hear  that  there  is 
to  be  a  full  convocation. 

I  wish  that  even  one  day  could  be  given  to  a  conference  on 
our  affairs.  As  this,  however,  is  for  the  present  impossible,  do 
not  needlessly  vex  yourself,  should  many  reports  be  spread 
abroad.  There  was,  indeed,  a  time  when  we  were  on  our  guard, 
when  our  party  appointed  sentinels  for  the  gates,  and  were 
usually  more  careful  in  keeping  watch.^  But  they  inconsider- 
ately gave  a  signal  of  alarm,  without  my  knowledge,  however, 
and  when  I  had  not  the  smallest  suspicion  that  anything  of  the 

'  Minister  of  the  Church  of  Geneva;  deposed,  a  few  years  afterwards,  on  account 
of  the  irregularities  of  his  life. 

"  Alarmed  at  the  first  movements  of  the  Council  of  Trent,  and  the  perils  to  which 
the  good  understanding  between  the  Pope  and  the  Emperor  might  subject  the  Refor- 
mation, the  Deputies  of  the  League  of  Smalkald  had  reassembled  at  Frankfort.  Lut 
their  union  was  not  so  solid  as  the  gravity  of  the  occasion  demanded.  The  Elector  of 
Saxe  and  the  Landgrave  of  Hesse  were  influenced  by  different  political  views;  but 
they  were  both  alike  disposed  to  seek  the  alliance  of  the  Kings  of  France  and  England, 
as  well  as  of  the  Protestant  Cantons  of  Switzerland,  that  they  might  withstand  the 
storm  that  menaced  them. — Sleidan,  1.  xvi.,  and  Robertson,  vol.  iv.  B.  vii.  p.  23 1. 
London,  1851. 

8  '•'  Upon  the  intelligence  that  the  Duke  of  Savoy  has  retaken  two  strongholds  in 
Piedmont,  and  that  he  is  collecting  a  body  of  troops,  resolved  to  continue  to  work  at 
the  fortifications." — Registers  of  Council,  2Sth  December  15i5. 


28  FAKEL.  [1546. 

kind  would  take  place.^  Seizing  the  opportunity,  our  neigh- 
bours [the  Bernese]  run  to  our  aid,  and  most  unreservedly  ofter 
their  assistance.  No  one  had  any  suspicion  of  kindness  so 
obliging.  Our  friends  make  no  communication  to  me,  and  after 
speeches  had  been  made  backwards  and  forwards,  an  agreement 
is  come  to  between  the  parties.  Shortly  afterwards,  there  arrives 
a  new  embassy  with  the  most  monstrous  commissions.  The 
captain  of  the  garrison,  proffered  by  the  Bernese,  with  his  pro 
posals,  having  met  with  a  refusal,  has  quitted  the  city.^  I  am 
now  aware  how  many  various  reports  are  everywhere  circu- 
lated, but  I  see  no  danger.  Should  you  hear  anything,  deny 
confidently  the  existence  of  any  sort  of  alliance  between  us. 
For  presently,  when  they  become  ashamed  of  themselves,  they 
will  have  recourse  to  the  old  arts,  saying  that  they  are  un- 
justly defamed,  &c.  I  can  hardly  persuade  our  friends  that 
there  is  need  of  deeds  on  our  side ;  nor  is  this  wonderful,  for 
in  other  things  they  act  foolishly  in  spite  of  my  remonstrances. 
Adieu,  brother  and  most  sincere  friend.  Salute  for  me,  in  the 
kindest  manner,  all  your  co-presbyters  and  your  family.  May 
the  Lord  direct  all  of  you  by  his  Spirit,  and  preserve  you  safe. 

The  impostor  who  had  undertaken  to  carry  Bucer's  letter  to 
you,  stopped  at  Montbeliard,  nor  would  he  ever  have  conveyed 
it  to  you,  had  not  my  brother  purposely  set  out  for  that  place, 
because  he  had  in  his  keeping  another  of  far  greater  moment. 
Pie  is  a  worker  in  gold  by  trade,  but  a  fellow  who  is  deserv- 
ing of  the  gallows. 

I  am  so  far  convalescent  as  to  be  able  for  preaching  and  lec- 
turing, but  am  kept  busy  with  arrears.'' 

[Lat.  orig.  autogr.— Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  106.] 

>  "  Oath  exacted  of  all  private  individuals,  of  fidelity  to  the  Seigneury,  and  of  their 
readiness  to  live  and  die  for  liberty." — Registers  of  Council,  7th  January  1546. 

'  The  Seigneurs  of  Berne,  eagerly  seeking  every  opportunity  of  establishing  their 
influence  at  Geneva,  had  offered  to  guard  the  city,  and  to  protect  it  against  all  foreign 
attacks.  This  proposal  was  discarded,  as  tending  to  compromise  the  independence  of 
the  Pepublic. — Rerjiaters  of  Council,  11th  January  1546. 

»  We  read,  in  the  R<^>/>sters  of  Council  of  the  29th  of  January  of  this  year  :— "  Cal- 
vin having  been  ill,  the  Seigneury  present  to  him  ten  crowns.  On  his  recovery,  he 
returns  the  money  to  the  Council,  who  cause  it  to  'be  expended  in  the  purchase  of  a 
tun  of  wine  for  him,  thus  leaving  him  no  alternative  but  to  accept  it." 


1546.]  MONSIEUR   DE   FALAIS.  29 

CLII. — To  Monsieur  de  Falais.' 

Calvin  dedicates  to  him  one  of  his  Commentaries. 

[Jnmmri/  l,')4r).'] 

MoNSElGNEUR, — Since  ray  written  letter,  I  liave  changed  my 
mind,  touobing  the  epistle  dedicatory  of  my  Commentary,  be- 
cause it  is  a  great  trouble  and  difficulty  to  be  forced  to  fill  up 
so  many  pages  and  no  more  ;  I  therefore  send  it  altogether, 
nevertheless,  with  this  condition,  that  it  shall  not  be  printed 
but  by  your  command.  "Wherefore,  I  enclose  it  in  the  present 
letter,  in  order  that  Vendelin''  may  not  have  it  but  from  your 
hands.  Should  it  not  appear  fitting  that  I  address  it  to  you,  I 
shall  make  a  new  one,  on  being  advertised  to  that  effect.  As 
for  the  rest,  do  not  be  astonished  if  I  speak  with  brevity  of  you, 
for  I  would  fear  to  touch  some  thorns  in  entering  further  on 
the  subject.  But  according  as  circumstances  will  bear  it,  we 
can,  should  it  so  please  God,  on  a  second  impression,  discourse 
fully  and  say  all  that  there  shall  be  need  for.  Ilowbeit,  I 
would  greatly  desire,  if  it  might  so  please  God,  to  be  with  you 
for  three  or  four  days,  to  confer  by  word,  of  mouth  rather  than 
by  writing.  Possibly  it  is  folly  on  my  part  to  think  that  my 
presence  can  be  of  any  service  to  you.  But  why  so?  while  the 
power  may  be  wanting,  affection  makes  me  speak  thus.  These 
wishes,  however,  are  more  easy  to  form  than  to  fulfil.  So  let 
us  be  content  with  what  God  gives  us. 

Yesterday  we  had  news  here  of  the  defeat  of  four  thousand 
English  by  five  hundred  light  horse.     But  it  is  from  France/ 

'  Calvin  had  just  dedicated  to  M.  de  Falais  his  Commentary  on  the  First 
Epistle  of  St.  Paul  to  the  Corinthians.  The  epistle  dedicatory  is  of  the  22d  January 
1546.  The  name  of  M.  de  Falais — sad  example  of  the  fragile  nature  of  human 
affections ! — was  effaced  ten  years  afterwards  from  the  preface  of  this  Commentary, 
and  replaced  by  the  name  of  the  Marquis  of  Vico. 

'  On  the  back,  in  the  hand  of  M.  de  Falais — 'Received  the  Cth  February 
1546.' 

3  Printer  in  Strasbourg. 

*  The  French  were  then  besieging  the  town  of  Boulogne,  occupied  by  the 
English.  The  peace  between  the  two  rival  monarchs  of  France  and  England,  was 
signed  the  year  following. — De  Thou,  lib.  i.  ii. 


30  JOHN   FRELLON".  [1546. 

Monseigneur,  after  having  humbly  commended  me  anew  to 
your  kind  favour,  and  that  of  Madame,  I  pray  always  our  Lord 
that  he  would  uphold  you  in  his  glory. 

[Fr.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.     Vol.  194] 


CLIII.— To  John  Frellon.' 

Rupture  of  the  Relations  between  Calvin  and  Servetus. 

TJiia  13th  of  Fehruanj  1546, 

Seigneur  Jehan, — By  cause  that  your  last  letter  was  brought 
to  me  at  my  going  away,  I  had  not  leisure  to  reply  to  what  was 
inclosed  therein.  Since  my  return,  at  the  first  leisure  that  I 
have  had,  I  have  been  quite  willing  to  satisfy  your  desire;  not 
that  I  have  had  great  hope  of  late  of  being  profitable  to  a  certain 
person,  judging  from  the  disposition  in  which  I  see  him  to  be  ; 
but  in  order  to  try  once  more  if  there  shall  be  any  means  of 
bringinghim  back,  which  will  be,  when  God  shall  have  wrought 
in  him  so  effectually,  that  he  has  become  entirely  another  man. 
Since  he  has  written  to  me  in  so  proud  a  spirit,  I  would  fain 

'  The  following  is  the  address  of  this  letter,  taken  from  the  original  in  the 
archives  of  the  old  Archbishopric  of  Vienne,  and  first  published  by  the  Abb^ 
d'Artigny, — A  Sire  Jihan  Frellon,  marchand  libraire  demeurant  d  Lyon,  en  la 
rue  Merciere,  enseigne  de  I'Escu  de  Coidongne.  The  mysterious  personage  who 
is  pointed  at  in  this  letter,  is  no  other  than  Michael  Servetus — seven  years  before 
the  trial  which  wiis  to  attach  so  fatal  a  celebrity  to  his  name.  Settled  as  a 
physician  at  Vienne,  in  Dauphiny,  he  kept  up  a  correspondence  with  Calvin,  under 
the  cover  of  John  Frellon,  and  he  had  just  sent  the  Reformer  an  extract  of 
the  work  which  was  in  preparation  under  the  title  of  Christianismi  restitutio,  ex- 
pressing at  the  same  time  the  desire  of  coming  to  Geneva.  Then  it  was,  that 
Calvin  wrote  to  Farel  the  letter  which  has  been  so  often  cited,  where  this  passage 
occurs,  "  Servet  has  lately  written  to  me,  and  has  added  to  his  letter  a  large 
volume  of  his  own  delirious  fancies.  ...//"  it  may  be  agreeable  to  me,  he  un- 
dertakes that  he  would  come  hither.  But  1  will  not  interpose  my  assurance  of  his 
safety,  for  if  he  shall  come,  provided  that  my  authority  is  of  any  avail,  I  shall  not 
suffer  him  to  depart  alive.'""'' — Letter  of  the  13th  February  1546.  We  know  how  that 
terrible  threat  was  realized  seven  years  afterwards. 

"  Pervetiis  nuper  ad  me  siripsit,  ac  literis  adjunxit  Ionium  volumen  suorum  deliriorum  .  .  , 
Si  mihi placeoi.  hue  se  venturum  recipit.  Sect  nolo  Jidem  meam  inttrponcre,  nam  si  venerit,modo 
valcat  mea  authoritas,  vivum  exire  nan  patiar. 


1546.]  FAREL.  31 

have  beaten  down  his  pride  a  little,  speaking  more  harshly  to 
him  than  is  my  wont ;  but  I  could  scarcely  do  otherwise.  For 
I  do  assure  you  that  there  is  no  lesson  which  is  more  neces- 
sary for  him  than  to  learn  humility,  which  must  come  to  him 
from  the  Spirit  of  God,  not  otherwise.  But  we  must  observe 
a  measure  here  also.  If  God  grants  that  favour  to  him  and 
to  us,  that  the  present  answer  turns  to  his  profit,  I  shall  hjive 
whereof  to  rejoice.  If  he  persists  in  the  same  style  as  he  has 
now  done,  you  will  lose  time  in  asking  me  to  bestow  labour 
upon  him,  for  I  have  other  affairs  which  press  upon  me  more 
closely  ;  and  I  would  make  a  matter  of  conscience  of  it,  not  to 
busy  myself  further,  having  no  doubt  that  it  was  a  temptation 
of  Satan  to  distract  and  withdraw  me  from  other  more  useful 
reading.  And  therefore  I  beg  you  to  content  yourself  with 
what  I  have  done  in  the  matter,  unless  you  see  some  better 
order  to  be  taken  therein. 

Wherefore,  after  my  commendation  to  you,  I  beseech  our 
good  Lord  to  have  you  in  his  keeping. 
Your  servant  and  hearty  friend, 

Charles  d'Espeville. 

[Printed — Nouveaux  Mimoires  de  V  AhM  d'  Artigmj,  torn.  ii.  p.  70.] 


CLIY.— To  Farel. 

Reply  to  various  questions — terrible  threat  against  Servetus — imprisonment  of  one 
of  the  leaders  of  the  Libertins. 

Geneva,  \Zth  February  1546. 

You  will  be  at  ease  regarding  your  brothers  since  you  received 
the  letter  of  Claude.  The  messenger  who  brought  it  asked 
whether  mine  would  be  ready  when  I  returned  from  sermon, 
after  three  o'clock.  I  replied  in  the  negative ;  but  I  bid  him 
dine  at  my  house  with  my  wife,  as  I  myself  had  been  invited  to 
dine  with  Macrin.  I  promised  to  be  with  him  immediately 
after  dinner,  to  make  a  brief  reply.  He  did  not  come  [to  my 
house,]  but  hurried  away  without  waiting  a  moment,  so  that  I 
was  confounded  by  so  sudden  a  departure.     And  yet  the  youth 


82  FAREL.  [1546. 

had  not  appeared  to  me  to  behave  badly  in  general.  I  trust 
the  reflection  may  occur  to  your  brothers,  that  they  have 
been  thus  extricated  from  all  their  difficulties  by  the  hand  of 
God,  in  order  that  they  make  the  greater  haste  [in  the  work,] 
It  did  not  become  the  Israelites,  when  a  way  was  opened  up  to 
them,  to  show  remissness  in  immediately  girding  themselves  for 
flight.'  Such  would  have  been  the  burden  of  my  epistle  had 
not  the  messenger  deceived  me ;  but  I  am  confident  that  they 
are  burning  with  ardour  of  their  own  accord.  I  now  come  to  your 
own  contests.^  If  the  ungodly  still  occasion  you  some  trouble, 
when  that  letter  shall  arrive,  I  have  briefly  expressed  in  it  what 
I  think  should  be  your  mode  of  proceeding.  I  should  wish, 
however,  the  matter  to  be  discussed  viva  voce  ;  and  that,  there- 
upon, the  result,  or  something  like  it,  be  committed  to  writing. 
You  will  perhaps  smile  because  I  suggest  nothing  out  of  the 
common,  as  you  looked  for  something  recondite  and  elevated  at 
my  hands;  but  I  do  not  wish,  nor,  besides,  is  it  right  to  be  fettered 
by  your  estimate  of  me.  I  had  rather,  however,  be  foolish  by 
so  writing,  than  by  my  silence  lead  you  to  suppose  that  your 
entreaties  were  neglected  by  me.  If  nothing  can  be  effected  by 
reasoning,  and  in  this  lawful  way,  the  Bernese  must  be  privately 
prevailed  upon  not  to  allow  that  wild  beast  to  go  out  of  its  den. 
I  do  not  sufficiently  comprehend  your  meaning  regarding  a 
treaty,  unless  it  be,  as  I  conjecture,  that  you  are  turning  your 
thoughts  to  some  sort  of  alliance,  with  a  view  to  your  receiving 
the  assistance  of  the  Bernese;  and  that  just  as  they  guard  the 
liberty  of  the  people  by  the  law  of  the  state,  so  they  may  pro- 
tect ministers  in  their  office  by  some  title  which  commands 
respect.  If  that  be  provided  for,  I  do  not  disapprove  of  [the 
alliance.]  Bear  in  mind,  that  recourse  should  be  had  to  those 
extraordinary  remedies  only  when  there  is  the  exculpatory  plea 
of  an  ultimate  necessity.     In  the  next  place,  be  very  cautious 


'  Decimated  by  the  most  cruel  persecution,  the  faithful  of  Dauphine,  the  native 
country  of  Farel,  had  inquired  of  the  ministers  of  French  Switzerland,  whether  it 
was  lawful  for  them  to  have  recourse  to  flight,  in  order  to  escape  the  fury  of  their 
adversaries.     Numerous  refugees  had  already  settled  at  Geneva. — See  vol.  i.  p.  473. 

°  Ecclesiastical  embroilments  with  the  Seigneury  of  Berne. 


1546.]  FAREL.  83 

lest  anything  you  do  be  such  as  may  injure  your  interests  in 
time  to  come.  You  may  have  greater  cause  of  regret  in  that 
you  once  received  aid,  and  were  parties  to  a  compact,  than  if 
you  were  to  remain  in  your  original  servitude.  Marcourt  has, 
without  doubt,  already  promised  a  place  for  himself;  for  he 
publicly  proclaims  that  he  does  not  regard  the  consent  of  the 
brethren,  since  he  is  desired,  both  by  magistrates  and  people, 
and  he  has  no  doubt  but  that  they  are  indignant  against 
you.  Finally,  since  he  prematurely  discloses  the  wickedness 
of  his  character,  he  must  be  repulsed  by  all  artifices,  lest  he 
rise  to  a  position  in  which  he  is  able  to  perform  what  he 
threatens.  With  regard  to  those  who  gave  out  that  we  were 
establishing  here  a  permanent  seat  of  despotism,  under  colour 
of  defence,  let  us  suffer  this  rumour  to  spread  on  both  sides. 
Their  impudence  has  been  met  with  civility  and  mildness,  so 
that  they  ought  to  be  ashamed  of  themselves.'  I  trust  that  they 
will  keep  quiet.  I  seek,  as  far  as  I  am  able,  to  persuade  our 
friends  to  remain  unconcerned.  Servetus  lately  wrote  to  me,  and 
coupled  with  his  letter  a  long  volume  of  his  delirious  fancies, 
with  the  Thrasonic  boast,  that  1  should  see  something  astonish- 
ing and  unheard  of  He  takes  it  upon  him  to  come  hither,  if 
it  be  agreeable  to  me.  But  I  am  unwilling  to  pledge  my  word 
for  his  safety,  for  if  he  shall  come,  I  shall  never  permit  him  to 
depart  alive,  provided  my  authority  be  of  any  avail.'^ 

More  than  fifteen  days  have  now  elapsed  since  Cartelier^  was 
imprisoned,  for  having,  at  supper  in  his  own  house,  raged 
against  me  with  such  insolence  as  to  make  it  clear  that  he  was 
not  then  in  his  right  senses.     I  concealed  what  I  felt,  but  I 


•  See  letter  of  the  26th  January,  p.  28,  note  2. 

'  See  the  preceding  letter.  It  appears  that  relations  between  Calvin  and 
Servetus  continued  in  a  state  of  interruption,  as  is  proved  by  the  following  passage 
of  a  letter  of  Calvin  to  Viret,  dated  1st  September  1548: — "I  think  I  once  read  to 
you  my  answer  to  Servetus.  I  wiis  at  length  disinclined  from  striving  longer  with 
the  incurable  obstinacy  of  a  heretic;  and,  indeed,  I  ought  to  have  followed  the  advice 
of  Paul.  lie  now  attacks  you.  You  will  see  how  long  you  ought  to  persist  in  rebutting 
his  follies.  He  will  twist  nothing  out  of  me  henceforward." — Library  of  tieneva, 
Vol.  106. 

'  One  of  the  most  violent  members  of  the  party  that  combated  the  influence  and  in- 
stitutions of  the  Reformer  at  Geneva. 
5 


84  FAREL.  [1546. 

testified  to  the  judge  that  it  would  be  agreeable  to  me  were  he 
proceeded  against  with  the  utmost  rigour  of  the  law.  I  wished 
to  go  to  see  him.  Access  was  prohibited  by  decree  of  the 
Senate;  and  yet  some  good  men  accuse  me  of  cruelty,  forsooth, 
because  I  so  pertinaciously  revenge  my  injuries.'  I  have  been 
requested  by  his  friends  to  undertake  the  part  of  intercessor. 
I  refused  to  do  so,  except  on  these  two  conditions,  viz:  that  no 
suspicion  should  attach  to  me,  and  that  the  honour  of  Christ 
should  remain  intact.  I  have  now  done.  I  abide  the  judgment 
of  the  Council. — Adieu,  brother,  and  most  sincere  friend.  We 
all  salute  you  and  your  sisters.  You  will  convey  to  the 
brethren  the  best  salutations  in  my  name,  and  that  of  my 
brethren  in  the  ministry.  May  God  ever  bless  you  and  prosper 
your  labours. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Imp.  Library,  Coll.  Duptiy.     Vol.  102.] 


CLY.— To  Farel. 

Pacification  of  the  Churcli  at  Neuchatel — report  of  the  speedy  arrival  of  the  Emperor 
in  Savoy — dangers  at  Geneva — withering  mention  of  Francis  I. 

Geneva,  20th  February  1546. 

I  specially  congratulate  you  and  all  your  friends,  yea,  our- 
selves also,  and  the  whole  Church  of  Christ,  that  the  Lord  has 
unexpectedly  stilled  all  tumults,  by  restraining  the  ungodly. 
Yiret  had  already  requested  me  to  be  prepared  at  all  points  in 
case  there  should  be  need  of  my  presence,  and  assuredly  I 
should  not  have  been  behind;  but  God  is  twice  to  be  praised, 
who  by  his  own  counsel  has  adjusted  matters  that  were  in  so 
great  confusion.  We  acknowledge  that  he  was  present  with 
you  when  he  opened  up  to  you  that  plan  of  admonishing  the 
heads  of  the  citizens.  We  again  acknowledge  a  memorable 
work  of  his,  in  having  given  to  you  those  who  of  their  own 

'  Calvin  shewed  himself,  on  more  than  one  occasion,  disposed  to  forgive  personal 
injuries,  as  the  Registers  of  Council  testify  : — "  A  woman  having  abused  M.  Calvin,  it 
is  directed  that  she  be  consigned  to  prison.  Liberated  at  the  request  of  the  said 
M.  Calvin,  and  discharged  with  a  reproof." — 12th  December  1545. 


1546.]  FAREL.  So 

accord  were  disposed  to  act  well  towards  you.  I  feel  confident 
that  the  matter  has  been  brought  to  a  conclusion  in  harmony 
with  the  desire  of  all  good  men.  If  our  service  be  desired, 
you  know  that  we  are  all  yours.  I  now  hourly  expect  your 
brothers.  May  the  Lord  restore  them  to  us  safe  and  with  good 
fortune.'  A  confident  report  is  spread  abroad  here  of  the 
arrival  of  the  Emperor.  I  hold  it  for  certain  that  a  passage 
across  will  by  no  means  be  opened  up  to  him  without  a  bloody 
conflict.  It  cannot  be  doubted,  that  even  though  our  neigh- 
bours were  willing  that  we  should  be  left  exposed  to  the  danger 
of  becoming  the  prey  of  the  conqueror,  they  would  nevertheless 
find  it  necessary  to  guard  their  own  territories  ;  although  I  do 
not  know  why  our  party  have  so  soon  become  careless,  unless 
they  wished  to  subject  themselves  to  their  sway,  and  thus  save 
themselves  from  other  masters.  It  is  a  hard  condition  that  you 
must  give  up  your  liberty  in  order  to  secure  allies  as  defenders.'^ 
Our  party  erred  in  one  particular,  that  they  made  too  violent  a 
reply.  But  what  could  I  do?  On  me,  nevertheless,  the  odium 
redounds,  though  I  strove  with  great  vehemence  to  prevent  the 
ground  of  it ;  but  I  have  bid  adieu  to  the  perverted  judgments  of 
men.  I  pass  on  to  another  subject.  Matters  will  go  more 
severely  with  Cartel  ier,  because  he  mixed  up  with  myself  part  of 
the  Senate.  After  that  I  have  respectably  enough  discharged  the 
duty  of  clemency,  I  have  resolved  to  halt.  The  malevolent  will 
heap  obloquy  upon  me,  but  if  there  be  an  opportunity  of  reply  ing, 
I  have  the  means  of  stopping  their  mouths.  No  one  certainly 
will  allege  that  any  word  less  than  fair  fell  from  me,  for  among 
good  and  bad  I  have  endeavoured  to  extenuate  his  offence. 
The  Parliament  of  Paris,  as  I  hear,  now  wages  war  with  fire 
and  faggot  against  Christ.^     It  is  indeed  certain  that  a  great 


•  See  p.  22,  note  2. 

"  Allusion  to  the  Bernese  and  to  their  pretensions  of  ruling  Geneva  under  cover 
of  the  Alliance. — See  p.  28,  note  2. 

8  The  year  1546  was  especially  remarkable  for  the  great  persecutions  that  arose 
■within  the  bounds  of  the  jurisdiction  of  the  Parliament  of  Paris.  Meaux,  Seulis, 
Orleans,  reckoned  numerous  martyrs.  One  named  Jean  Chapot  of  Dauphinc,  col- 
porteur of  Geneva,  arrested  at  Paris,  was  condemned  to  death,  after  having  under- 
gone the  most  cruel  tortures.  Uo  had  his  tongue  cut  out  before  ho  was  cast 
into  the  flames.    "The  dispersion,"  says  Beza,  "was  widespread,   but  it  led  to 


86  viRET.  [1546. 

multitude  of  the  godly  are  everywhere  held  in  bonds.  Sar- 
danapalus,'  meanwhile,  in  the  midst  of  his  courtezans,  feeds 
his  fancy  with  victories.  May  the  Lord  have  respect  to  his 
Church ! 

Adieu,  most  upright  brother  in  the  Lord,  together  with  all 
your  fellow-ministers,  whom  you  will  respectfully  salute  in  my 
name,  and  in  that  of  the  brethren.  May  Christ  ever  direct  you 
all  by  right  counsel,  and  bless  your  auspicious  endeavours. — 
— Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

To  the  four  Presidents  of  the  citizens,  special  compliments  in 
my  name.     May  the  Lord  bless  them  exceedingly. 
[Lat.  arig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.     Vol.  106.] 


LYL— To  ViRET. 

Election  of  a  minister  at  Neuchatel — sickness  of  Viret's  wife. 

Geneva,  22c?  Fehruary  1546. 

I  learned  from  Farel's  last  letter,  that  the  commotions  at  Neu- 
chatel were  allayed.  And  I  now  feel  assured  that  the  matter 
of  the  choice  of  a  pastor  is  concluded  ;  for  it  had  at  length  been 
agreed  that  the  ministers  should  promise  on  oath  to  nominate  in 
good  faith  the  person  whom  they  deemed  most  suitable.  It 
was  already  considered  as  almost  certain,  that  Christopher 
would  be  the  man,  provided  the  Bernese  would  part  with  him;* 
and  there  is  hope  that  they  will  offer  no  objection.  Farel  wrote 
that  the  good  cause  had  been  not  a  little  aided  by  the  Consul 
Wateville. 

Had  they  invited  us  as  brethren,  I  should  have  been  ready  at 
any  hour.     But  I  rejoice  especially,  that  you  were  of  more  ser- 

the  great  advancement  of  many  churches  which  were  built  up  of  the  stones  of  that 
ruin." — Hist.  Ecd.  torn.  i.  p.  82.     Histoirc  dee  Martyrs,  pp.  170,  177. 

'  Francis  I.,  King  of  France. 

**  On  the  death  of  the  minister  Chaponneau,  the  people  of  Neuchatel  wished  to 
have  in  his  room  Christopher  Fabri,  minister  of  Thonon :  they  accordingly  asked 
him  from  the  Seigneury  of  Berne,  who  with  a  good  grace  conceded  him  to  them. 
— Ruchat,  vol.  v.  p.  299. 


1546.]  viRET.  37 

vice  than  you  thought  you  would  be ;  for  all  loudly  assert  that 
your  arrival  was  highly  advantageous. 

I  see  that  Textor  does  not  hold  out  much  further  hope  of 
your  wife.  You  need  no  more  words  to  admonish  you  to  hold 
yourself  ready  to  bear  with  moderation  the  issue,  whatever  that 
may  be.  Would  that  I  also  could  fly  thither,  that  I  might 
alleviate  your  sorrow,  or  at  least  bear  a  part  of  it!'  But  so 
long  a  ride  would  cause  me  pain.  I  rather  advise,  should 
matters  happen  otherwise  than  as  we  wish,  that  you  come 
hither  for  a  few  days. — Adieu,  most  sound-hearted  brother, 
along  with  your  wife  and  family.  The  Lord  comfort  and 
strengthen  you  all.     Amen. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Yol.  106.] 


CLYII.— To  YiRET.' 

Calvin  invites  his  friend  to  repair  to  Geneva  after  the  death  of  his  wife. 

Geneva,  Sth  March  1546. 

Come,  on  this  condition,  that  you  disengage  your  mind  not 
only  from  grief,  but  also  from  every  annoyance.  Do  not  fear  that 
I  will  impose  any  burden  upon  you,  for  through  my  means  you 
will  be  allowed  to  take  whatever  rest  is  agreeable  to  you.  If  any 

'  We  again  find  marks  of  the  same  solicitude  in  a  letter  of  Calvin  to  Viret  of  the 
preceding  month.  "  Adieu,  with  your  wife,  whose  health  wo  will  commend  to  the 
Lord.  Be  assured  that  we  are  not  less  solicitous  about  her  than  if  she  were  the  wife 
or  daughter  of  each  of  us.  The  Lord  keep  you  and  sustain  you  with  the  consolation 
of  his  Spirit." — (January  1546,)  Vol.  106,  from  Geneva. 

'^  Viret  was  at  that  time  plunged  into  the  deepest  affliction.  He  had  just  lost,  after 
a  long  illness,  his  wife,  Elizabeth  Turtaz,  of  Orbe,  with  whom  he  had  lived  for  many 
years  in  a  godly  union.  The  grief  which  he  felt  on  that  occasion  is  expressed,  in  a 
very  touching  manner,  in  a  letter  written  many  years  afterwards  to  Calvin  : — "  I  was 
so  completely  dispirited  and  prostrated  by  that  arrow  of  affliction,  that  the  whole 
world  appeared  to  me  nothing  but  a  burden.  There  was  nothing  pleasant,  nothing 
that  could  mitigate  my  grief  of  mind." — Calv.  Epist.  et  Reap.,  p.  5.3.  The  friends  of 
Viret,  and  especially  Farel  and  Calvin,  lavished  upon  him,  during  that  trial,  marks 
of  the  tenderest  and  most  brotherly  affection.  The  familiar  correspondence  of  Calvin 
furnishes  us  with  precious  revelations  in  this  respect. 


38  viRET.  [1546. 

one  prove  troublesome  to  you,  I  will  interpose.  The  brethren, 
also,  make  the  same  promise  to  you  as  I  do.  I  will  also  be 
surety  that  the  citizens  do  not  interfere  with  your  wishes. 

I  know  not  what  I  ought  to  imprecate  on  the  wretches  who 
had  spread  a  report  of  your  death.  Never  did  a  letter  from 
you  arrive  more  opportunely.  Although  your  death  was 
announced,  yet  as  mention  was  made  of  poison,  Textor  was 
already  in  the  midst  of  preparations  for  the  journey,  that  he 
might  speed  to  Orbe  on  fleet  horses.  A  great  part  of  the  bre- 
thren were  present,  all  overwhelmed  with  deep  affliction. 
Shortly  afterward  your  letter  made  its  appearance,  and  such 
exultation  instantly  broke  forth,  that  we  were  hardly  masters 
of  our  senses.  It  was  fortunate  that  we  did  not  pass  a  night 
of  sorrow,  else  I  should  not  have  borne  it  without  danger. 
But  why  do  I  detain  you,  and  not  rather  incite  you  to  hasten 
hither  as  quickly  as  possible?  Adieu,  brother  and  most  agree- 
able friend.  Salute  respectfully  the  brethren  James,  Eibitti, 
Hubert,  Cordier,  Celio,  Francis,  Merlin.  The  Lord  protect 
you  and  the  remainder  of  your  family. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  copy — Library  of  Geneva.    Yol.  111.] 


CLYIII.— To  YiRET. 

Renewed  and  more  pressing  invitation  to  come  to  Geneva. 

15th  March  1546. 

I  have  hitherto  delayed  writing  to  you,  because  I  daily  ex- 
pected you  to  come  hither,  as  you  had  promised  ;  nor  should  I 
have  written  even  now,  as  I  remain  in  the  same  state  of  expec- 
tation, were  it  not  that  I  might  incite  you  to  hasten  your 
journey ;  for  I  wonder  why  it  is  that  you  thus  put  oQ'  from 
day  to  day.  I  remember  that  John  de  Tournay '  told  me 
that  you  had  a  horse ;  but  why  not  rather  come  by  boat  ? 
Unless  David  has  sold  his  [horses,]  that  difficulty  could  be  easily 
got  over,  although  I  believe  that  one  may  now  be  more  easily 
procured  than  it  could  have  been  eight  days  ago,  for  fewer 

'  Nephew  of  Viret,  and  minister  in  the  Pays  de  Vaud. 


1546.]  THEODORE  VITUS.  39 

couriers  have  passed  this  way  during  these  days.  Arake  haste, 
therefore,  that  you  may  recruit  a  little,  and  gather  heart  again 
with  us ;  for  people  from  your  quarter  say  that  you  are 
half  dead.  Since  I  can  draw  you  out  by  no  other  induce- 
ment, I  make  the  announcement,  that  you  shall  have  no  letter 
from  me  until  you  come.  Quick,  then. — Adieu.  Salute  all 
friends.  May  the  Lord  shortly  bring  you  in  safety  to  us. — 
Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.     Vol.  IOC] 


CLIX.  To  Theodore  Vitus.' 

Indication  of  the  various  documents  wherein  are  set  forth  the  opinions  of 
Calvin  regarding  the  Lord's  Supper — earnest  desire  for  union  and  peace  among  the 
Churches — condition  of  Geneva. 

Geneva,  l^ih  March  154fi. 

Your  letter  gave  me  the  greater  pleasure,  as  I  had  not  ven- 
tured to  look  for  it,  for  it  was  my  part  to  draw  a  letter  from 
you  by  being  the  first  to  write.  But  that  you,  without  being 
called  upon,  should  of  your  own  accord  have  anticipated  me,  I 
take  as  a  proof  of  your  greater  friendship  towards  me.  If,  how- 
ever, you  would  know  the  reason  of  my  not  writing,  I  refrained 
more  from  modesty  than  negligence.  And  generally  the  testi- 
mony of  Philip  [Melanchthon]  is  with  me  sufficient;  but  when 
no  great  familiarity  intervenes,  the  crooked  policy  of  the  times 
sometimes  makes  me  apprehensive.  Wherefore,  I  am  the  more 
grateful  to  you  for  having  removed  every  scruple.     I  greatly 

'  To  the  most  honourable  Doctor  Theodore  Vitus,  most  faithful  Minister  of  Christ 
at  Nuremberg. 

Theodore  Vitus,  (Dietrich  de  Weit,)  a  distinguished  theologian,  friend  of  Luther 
and  Melanchthon,  preached  the  Gospel  with  great  success  in  the  city  of  Nuremberg, 
his  native  place,  and  was  worthy  of  the  esteem  and  affection  of  Calvin,  not  more  on 
account  of  his  learning  than  his  moderation.  lie  died  in  1549.  Melanchthon  wrote, 
at  the  foot  of  his  portrait,  the  following  verses  : 

Ingenii  monumenta  sui,  sed  plura  Lutheri 
Edidit;  his  putcrunt  sccla  futura  frui. 

— [Melch.  Adam,  Vita  Thcol.  Germ.  pp.  199,  200.] 


40  THEODORE    VITUS.  [1546. 

rejoice,  also,  to  find  that  my  pamphlet,  Be  Coend^  has  met 
with  your  approbation.^  It  was  written  in  French  ten  years 
before.  When,  without  my  knowledge,  it  had  been  already 
translated  into  Latin  by  two  individuals,  I  at  length  consented 
to  its  publication,  being  afraid,  in  fact,  that  some  worse  version 
might  forestall  it.  A  style  of  instruction,  simple  and  popular, 
and  adapted  to  the  unlearned,  shews  what  my  purpose  was  from 
the  first;  fori  usually  write  more  carefully  for  those  acquainted 
with  Latin,  I  laboured,  however,  not  only  faithfully  to  express 
my  views,  and  reduce  them  within  a  brief  compass,  but  also  to 
unfold  them  lucidly,  and  without  technicalities.  Since  theu 
the  Institution,  having  been  revised,  was  again  given  to  the 
public,  in  which,  unless  I  am  mistaken,  I  expound  and  more 
fully  confirm  the  same  doctrine,  under  a  different  form  of  ex- 
pression*, and  with  somewhat  greater  development.  I  at  length 
also  published  a  Catechism,  which  is  trustworthy  and  pertinent 
evidence  of  the  kind  of  doctrine  with  which  the  common  people 
are  imbued  by  me.  Would  that  the  people  of  Zurich,  as  you 
say,  were  willing  to  give  their  assent  to  that  confession  !'^  I 
do  not  think  Luther  is  so  unyielding  but  that  there  might  easily 
be  an  agreement,  and  they  do  not,  withal,  venture  to  disapprove 
of  my  views.  The  chief  obstacle  to  their  giving  a  public  assent 
to  my  doctrine  is,  that  being  preoccupied  by  a  meaning,  once 
and  now  for  a  length  of  time  prescribed  to  them,  they  so  stick 
to  their  customary  forms  as  to  admit  nothing  new.  But  if  you 
consider  the  tyranny  manifested  by  certain  of  the  adverse  party 
in  the  attempt  to  force  the  world,  not  only  into  their  peculiar 
views,  but  also  into  a  prescribed  form  of  words,  the  furious 
insolence  they  shew,  what  commotions  they  excite, — the  mode- 
ration as  well  as  rectitude  by  which  you  are  characterized,  will 


'  The  following  is  the  passage  of  the  letter  of  Vitus  to  Calvin  to  which  he  here 
refers : — "  I  have  read  your  short  address  to  the  people  on  the  Sacrament  of  the 
Supper,  and  I  approve  of  your  calling  the  bread  and  wine  signs  in  such  a  sense  that 
the  things  signified  are  in  reality  present.  Would  that  they  who  leave  only  the 
naked  signs,  might  be  led  by  you  to  adopt  that  view!" — Calv.  Hpist.  et  Besp., 
Anist.,  p.  37. 

'  This  desire  was  happily  realized  some  years  afterwards,  by  the  adoption  of  a 
common  symbol  on  the  Supper,  approved  alike  by  the  theologians  of  Zurich  and 
Geneva. 


1546.]  THEODORE   VITUS.  41 

lead  you  to  condemn  in  the  matter  the  absurd  conduct  of  those 
parties,  not  less  than  the  people  of  Zurich.  May  the  Lord  by 
his  Spirit  dispose  us  all  to  true  moderation.  You  know  that  I 
am  not  in  the  habit  of  complaining  when  there  is  no  ground 
for  it ;  nor  do  I  doubt  but  that  you  yourself,  as  might  be  ex- 
pected from  your  eminent  piety,  sigh  in  secret  over  the  same 
evils,  while  it  is  not  in  your  power  to  remedy  them.  With 
respect  to  the  assurances  you  give  me  regarding  yourself,  I 
wish  you  in  turn  to  believe,  that  I  am  and  always  will  be  your 
sincere  friend  and  brother.  I  now,  with  many  others,  request 
you  to  go  on  strenuously,  and  make  no  halt  in  your  progress, 
until  you  have  handed  over  to  us  Genesis  completed.'  For  as 
Luther  has  just  grounds  for  congratulating  himself  in  having 
found  such  an  artist  to  polish  his  works,  so  others  experience 
how  advantageous  the  labour  is  to  the  public.  I  may  have 
wished,  however,  that  you  had  been  more  sparing  in  your 
mention  of  the  Sacramentaries,  because  I  see  that  the  minds 
of  some  are  thereby  exasp^ated,  of  whom  there  was  a  hope 
that  they  would  be  brought  to  moderate  views.  It  will  be  for 
you  to  consider  what  may  be  more  conducive  to  that  end.  I 
will  be  satisfied  if  you  take  my  warning  in  good  part,  whether 
or  not  you  act  upon  it.  The  Eatisbon  Assembly  will  indeed 
bring  forth  smoke  for  us,  which  the  Lord  will  soon  dispel.'^ 

Here  we  are  tranquil  unless  the  Emperor  molest  us.  Some 
suspect  him  of  having  an  eye  on  Burgundy,  with  the  view  of 
threatening  the  kingdom  of  France  from  that  quarter,  while  he 
would  harass  Provence  by  means  of  the  young  Duke  of  Savoy, 
and  send  in  the  English  from  the  other  side.  I  hold  myself 
under  the  protection  of  God  alone  when  I  see  that  we  are  not 
far  from  certain  danger.  Adieu,  most  honoured  sir,  and  most 
sincere  friend.  May  the  Lord  Jesus  ever  guide  and  direct  you 
by  his  Holy  Spirit,  and  bless  your  labours.     All  my  colleagues 

'  Vitus  lent  useful  aid  to  Luther  in  the  revision  of  his  different  writings,  and  ren- 
dered a  real  service  to  the  Church  by  collecting  and  offering  to  the  public  the  Com- 
mentaries of  Luther  on  the  Prophet  Micab,  aud  the  first  elevea  chapters  of  Genesis. 
— Melch.  Adam,  VitoB  Theol.  Germ. 

*  The  Conference  opened  by  the  Emperor  at  Ratisbon,  and  to  which  Buoer  had 
been  summoned,  was  a  more  feint  to  divert  men's  minds,  and  to  transfer  the  decision 
of  the  points  at  issue  to  the  Council  of  Trent. 
6 


42  viRET.  [1546. 

respectfully  salute  you.  To  yours  also  you  will  convey  the 
highest  respects  in  my  name,  and  in  that  of  my  colleagues. — 
Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Laf.  Copy,  Library  of  Zurich,  Coll.  Simler.    Vol.  59.] 


CLX.— To  ViRET.' 
Instructions  to  Viret  about  a  journey  to  Geneva. 

Geneva,  2&th  March,  he/ore  supper. 

The  person  who  delivered  yours  to  me  did  not  know  whence 
it  came.  I  thus  received  it  somewhat  later  than  I  wished. 
I  attended  to  the  wish  you  expressed,  that  a  suitable  horse, 
and  one  without  show,  should  be  sent  to  you.  It  would, 
however,  have  been  sent  off  sooner,  had  I  not  told  our  people 
beforehand  that  you  could  not  leave  your  place  of  residence 
before  the  moroing  discourse.  I  certainly  could  have  wished, 
if  your  letter  had  arrived  in  time,  that  you  had  been  sent  for 
sooner.  But  I  supposed  that  you  had  set  out  with  Christo- 
pher :  for  that  was  the  reason  why  I  gave  you  no  letter  by  the 
messenger  belonging  to  my  household.  If,  after  preaching, 
you  can  come  as  far  as  Nyon,  you  will  be  here  on  Monday 
before  supper  ;  but  take  care  lest  you  fatigue  yourself  You 
had  better  come  to  Nyon  on  Monday.  We  shall  have  you 
with  us  in  good  time,  if  we  get  you  well.  Salute  all  the  bre- 
thren. 

May  the  Lord  bring  you  to  us  safe  and  in  good  spirits.— 
Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

\Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Tol.  106.] 

'  Viret,  yielding  to  the  entreaties  of  Calvin,  went  to  Geneva  towards  the  end  of 
March,  and  there  received  the  most  honourable  marks  of  public  aflFection.  We  read 
in  the  Registers  of  Council,  of  date  the  2d  April  1546, — "Grand  reception  given  to 
Farel  and  Viret,  who  had  just  arrived  at  Geneva." 


1546.]  MONSIEUR   DE   FALAIS.  43 


CLXI. — To  Monsieur  de  Falais. 

Calvin's   labours — the  diet  at  Ratisbon — the  Church   at  Metz — the  reformation    at 
Heidelberg — apology  for  M.  de  Falais — opinion  regarding  the  sermons  of  Ochino. 

\_April  I54G.'] 

Monseigneur, — I  thank  you  for  the  care  which  you  have  of 
my  health,  anxious  that  I  would  not  overburthen  myself,  in 
straining  a  point  to  write  to  you,  when  I  am  not  in  a  fit  state 
to  do  so.  But  had  I  only  to  write  to  you,  it  would  be  to  me  a 
very  easy  labour,  if  that  can  be  called  toil  wherein  one  only 
finds  pleasure.  The  difficulty  arises  from  the  annoyances  and 
interruptions  of  the  train  of  thought  which  intervene,  to  break 
ofi'a  letter  in  the  midst  twenty  times  over,  or  even  more,  beyond 
all  bounds.  As  regards  health,  I  was  much  more  feeble  when 
I  wrote  to  you  a  while  ago  than  I  am  at  present.  But  being 
in  a  good  state  of  general  bodily  condition,  I  am  unceasingly 
tormented  with  a  heaviness,  which,  as  it  were,  suffers  me  not  to 
do  anything.  For,  besides  the  sermons  and  lectures,  there  is  a 
month  already  gone  in  which  I  have  scarce  done  anything,  in 
such  wise  that  I  am  almost  ashamed  to  live  thus  useless.  But 
if  it  please  God,  of  his  goodness,  to  make  use  of  me,  he  will 
release  me  and  allay  this  ill,  which  holds  me  so  fast  that  I  can- 
not set  about  any  labour  of  importance,  to  employ  the  leisure 
which  he  gives  me.  Nevertheless,  he  does  not  cease  to  exercise 
me  by  some  means  or  other,  in  order  that  I  may  not  grow  rusty 
through  laziness.  If,  however,  he  does  not  graciously  restore 
me  to  a  better  condition,  I  am  not  likely  ever  to  get  on  horse- 
back. Even  more  than  that,  were  I  ever  to  be  sent  for,  I  could 
not  stir  out  of  the  house  in  such  a  state.  But,  as  you  observe, 
they  let  me  alone,  from  fear  of  setting  astir  the  frantic  block- 
heads ;  and  on  my  side,  I  willingly  give  up  the  diets  to  those 
who  have  a  liking  for  them,  as  for  any  good  they  do."^     I  am 

•  On  the  back,  in  the  handwriting  of  M.  de  Falais, — Received  the  16th  of 
April  1546. 

'A  new  diet  had  been  assembled  at  Ratisbon,  for  the  pacification  of  the  reli- 
gious   troubles    of   Germany.     That  assembly  opened   in  the  month  of  June  1546, 


44  MONSIEUR  DE   FALAIS.  [1546. 

glad  tliat  our  Lord  has  put  you  out  of  pain  as  regards  Norberg. 
As  for  what  remains  to  be  done,  you  will  have  an  opportunity 
of  considering  what  it  ought  to  be,  having  been  informed  by 
J^han  de  Kochefort,  and  after  having  established  your  case,  as 
it  can  be  done,  in  coming  forth  out  of  Egypt  and  out  of 
Babylon.  It  is  like  what  is  said  by  Moses  and  by  Ezekiel, — in 
much  stir  and  ivith  haste.  I  hope,  should  it  so  please  God, 
that  all  is  over  by  this  time.  I  would  not  have  you  to  be  too 
much  astonished  at  the  length  of  time  you  have  been  in  receiv- 
ing letters  from  him,  considering  the  length  of  the  journey. 
But  if  God  has  been  so  gracious  to  him,  and  to  you  also,  as  to 
make  a  way  of  escape  out  of  danger,  he  will  not  have  tarried 
so  long  on  the  way  as  not  to  be,  by  this  time,  on  his  return. 
Thus,  being  at  rest  in  regard  to  that  matter,  you  will  take 
counsel  for  the  future. 

As  to  Constance,  I  had  not  spoken  to  you,  but  that  your 
present  abode  did  not  please  you.  When  the  crisis  comes,  how- 
ever, Strasbourg  is  more  suitable,  and  I  like  it  better,  were  it 
not  for  the  reason  which  you  allege. 

In  Metz,'  I  see  a  great  evil,  the  want  of  guidance  and  of 
cordial  interest,  albeit  that  these  are  rather  two  evils.  But 
God  will  find  the  remedy.  We  must  try  every  method  which 
he  presents  to  us,  and  even  stir  up  ourselves,  where  the  means 
appear  to  be  wanting.  And  whereas  I  know  that  you  have 
no  need  to  be  exhorted  not  to  spare  yourself,  I  forbear  to 
do  so. 

I  am  not  at  all  amazed,  if  Master  Peter  Alexander  is  bold, 
having  his  chin  thus  held  above  water,  and  that  besides  he  is 
quite  accustomed  at  Heidelberg  to  hear  that  doctrine  already 
for  a  long  time  past.^     He  is  even  well  aware  that  he  has  no 

in  presence  of  the  Emperor,  and  like  those  which  had  preceded,  concluded  without 
any  result  whatsoever. 

'  The  Protestants  of  this  town,  feebly  supported  by  the  league  of  Smalkald,  and 
intimidated  by  the  presence  of  the  imperial  legate,  devoted  to  the  Koman  Catholic 
clergy,  had  already  lost  the  rights  which  had  been  guarantied  to  them  by  the  accord 
of  1643,  and  so  found  themselves  deprived  of  the  exercise  of  public  worship  and  of 
the  pastorate. — (See  a  letter  of  Myconius  to  Calvin,  13th  November  1543.  Calv. 
Epist.  et  Jtesjwnaa,  Amst.  p.  26.) 

"  In  the  year  1546,  the  Palatinate  witnessed  the  accomplishment  of  a  great  re- 
ligious revolution.     The  Elector,  Frederic  II.,  yielding  to  the  wish  of  his  subjects, 

8 


1546.]  MONSIEUR   DE   FALAIS.  45 

Other  means  for  advancing  himself.  Thus  it  is  no  wonder  if 
he  takes  advantage  of  it  where  there  is  no  danger  at  all.  But 
I  see  quite  well  that  he  is  not  an  over-confident  man,  were  it 
only  by  his  conclusions.  "What  is  worse,  he  makes  a  stupid 
blunder  in  this,  that  he  says,  the  swearing  an  oath  is  forbidden 
by  God ;  and  that  with  a  blasphemy,  inasmuch  as  he  attributes 
authority  to  Saint  Paul  to  permit  what  has  been  prohibited  by 
his  Master ;  but  these  are  matters  for  the  civil  magistrate  to 
decide. 

The  Apology  would  be  much  better  drawn  up  where  you  are 
than  at  a  distance.  This  I  say  not  to  exempt  myself,  but  in- 
asmuch as  I  think  that  such  is  the  case;  for  I  am  quite  ready 
to  undertake  the  employment.  So  also  would  Master  Peter 
Yiret,  but  his  style  of  writing  would  not  be  altogether  suited 
to  such  an  argument,  owing  to  his  want  of  conciseness.  And 
for  myself  I  would  have  to  bite  my  nails  in  more  than  a  hun- 
dred passages,  if  we  could  not  confer  together  so  as  to  resolve 
by  common  accord  what  might  be  fit  to  say  or  to  omit.  Never- 
theless, we  shall  take  care  to  meet  your  wish  whenever  you 
shall  have  come  to  a  determination  upon  the  whole  case  and 
the  state  of  your  affairs.  Howbeit,  I  have  retained  no  memo- 
randum of  the  particulars  beside  me.  What  I  have  told  you 
about  the  Emperor,  was  not  so  much  to  find  fault  with  what 
has  been  done,  as  to  set  forth  the  reason  why  it  ought  not  to 
be  inserted  so  as  to  be  seen.  I  praise  our  Lord  that  the  pre- 
sent of  my  Commentary  is  agreeable  to  you.  In  conformity 
with  your  answer,  our  brother  sent  his  translation  to  Vende- 
liu,  addressing  the  preface  to  you,  in  order  that  having  seen  it 
beforehand,  you  may  judge  what  course  shall  appear  to  you  to 
be  expedient. 

The  request  which  I  made  to  you  so  affectionately,  not  to 
separate  your  household  from  the  French  Church,'  was  not 
founded  upon  any  report,  but  solely  upon  a  passage  of  your  letter 


proclaimed  the  establishment  of  the  Reformation,  and  the  abolition  of  the  old  worship 
in  his  states.  The  chief  instrument  of  that  revolution  was  the  minister  Paul  Fagitis, 
the  disciple  of  Capito. — Sleidan,  Comment,  lib.  xvi.  p.  266.     De  Thou,  lib.  ii.  c.  3. 

■  The  French  Church  of  Strasbourg,  of  which  Calvin  had  been  pastor  during  his 
exile  from  Geneva. 


46  MONSIEUR   DE   PALAIS.  [1546. 

wbere  you  signify  that  you  were  in  course  of  doing  so,  not 
perceiving  any  amendment  in  that  quarter.  It  suffices,  that  I 
am  aware  of  your  intention,  so  as  not-  to  be  further  trouble- 
some to  you  on  that  score.  I  see  indeed  the  reasons  you  may 
have,  but  I  take  into  view  the  scandal  which  would  thence 
arise.  All  is  well,  since  you  have  condescended  to  my  request. 

I  would  desire,  Monseigneur,  that  the  hundred  crowns  [escus] 
might  be  sent  to  the  lady,  and  they  would  be  returned  to  you 
forthwith,  sending  to  the  Ladies  de  Tilly  what  is  resting  due 
to  them,  since  the  father  shews  himself  such  a  one  as  he  is.  I 
would  earnestly  wish,  that  in  disposing  ourselves  willingly 
and  patiently  to  bear  the  cross,  we  were  framing  our  shoulders 
to  such  a  charge.  But  these  are  matters  about  which  we  shall 
better  talk  together  than  we  can  write. 

I  pray  you  to  hold  me  excused,  if  I  do  not  as  yet  signify  my 
opinion  of  the  translation  of  the  Sermons  of  Messire  Bernar- 
dino.' I  may,  however,  speak  a  word  in  your  ear,  that  they 
are  more  useful  in  Italian  than  in  other  languages,  were  it  not 
that  the  name  of  the  man  is  of  use ;  and  then  there  is  such  a 
variety  of  minds,  that  it  is  not  amiss  to  endeavour  to  draw 
some  of  them  by  that  means.  Of  the  translator,  I  shall  let  you 
know  my  opinion,  please  God,  in  a  few  words  shortly. 

As  touching  the  apology  of  the  ladies,'^  I  think,  Monseigneur, 
you  have  my  opinion  of  it  signified  already  in  brief,  at  least  I 
would  here  declare  it,  that  the  author  has  not  observed  what 
the  Latins  call  decorum.     For  the  course  of  procedure  is  un- 

'  Introduced  by  Calvin  to  Myconius,  Ochino  made  but  a  very  short  stay  at  Bale, 
where  those  writings  made  their  appearance  which  have  been  such  a  blot  upon  his 
memory.  In  1545  he  went  to  Augsbourg,  where  he  became  minister  to  the  congrega^ 
tion  of  Italian  refugees  until  the  epoch  of  the  Interim,  which  was  the  cause  of  his  be- 
taking himself  to  England.  His  leanings  toward  heterodoxy  were  veiled  from  the 
eyes  of  every  one,  except  perhaps  the  clear-sighted  discernment  of  Calvin,  who  valued 
his  abilities,  without  having  an  entire  confidence  in  the  solidity  of  his  doctrines.  The 
ever-recurring  changes  of  his  unsettled  life  led  him,  at  a  later  period,  to  class  him- 
self with  the  sect  of  the  anti-Trinitarians.  His  discourses,  so  much  admired  by  Car- 
dinal Bembo,  and  the  Emperor  Charles  V.  himself,  are  less  remarkable  for  their  purity 
of  doctrine  than  for  the  warmth  of  feeling  and  the  poetical  flash  of  the  style.  They 
have  been  printed  under  the  following  title  :  Predtche  di  Ifesser  Bernardino  Ochino, 
1543,  and  reprinted  on  several  occasions;  but  we  are  not  aware  of  any  translation, 
whether  Latin  or  French.  See  Schelhorn,  Erg'dtzUchkeiten,  torn.  iii.  pp.  2022,  21G1, 
2166,  and  pp.  2174-2179. 

'  The  sisters  of  M.  de  Falais. 


1546.]  MONSIEUR   DE   FALAIS.  47 

befitting  the  individuals.  Everybody  will  not  perceive  tliis, 
only  those  who  have  their  wits  about  them.  This  is  the  reason 
why  I  have  retained  it  beside  me. 

The  letters  of  Diaz '  were  not  needed  to  shew  me  on  what 
authority  you  had  opened  those  which  he  might  write  to  me. 
For  you  have  sufficient  authority  without  any  one  else  giving 
it  to  you,  I  humbly  thank  you  for  the  offer  which  you  have 
so  kindly  made  for  the  baptism  of  our  child.^  And  now, 
Monsieur,  to  conclude,  after  having  humbly,  and  with  all  pos- 
sible kindly  affection,  commended  me  to  your  good  favour  and 
that  of  Madame,  and  having  also  presented  the  humble  saluta- 
tions of  my  wife,  I  pray  our  good  Lord  to  guide  you  always  as 
he  has  done,  shewing  himself  the  true  protector  both  of  you 
and  of  all  that  concerns  you. 

Your  humble  brother,  servant,  and  ever  your  entire  friend, 

John  Calvin. 

[Fr.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.     Vol.  194.] 


CLXII. — To  Monsieur  de  Falais. 

Advice  regarding  the  editing  of  the  Apology — details  of  a  loan  contracted  for  M.  de 
Falais — news  from  Germany  and  Italy — Farel  and  Viret  at  Geneva — death  of 
Juan  Diaz. 

Itth  April  1546. 

MoNSEiGNEUR, — You  sec  here  what  I  have  done  desiring  to 
comply  with  your  wish.^     That  it  shall  altogether  satisfy  you 

'  Juan  Diaz,  originally  of  Cuenf  a,  in  Spain,  studied  letters  at  the  University  of 
Paris,  and  was  distinguished,  amid  the  scholars  of  his  nation,  "by  superior  learning, 
adorned  with  pure  morals,  great  mildness,  prudence,  and  benignity."  Initiated  in  the 
knowledge  of  the  Gospel,  he  left  Paris  and  visited  Geneva,  Bale,  Strasbourg,  where 
he  acquired  the  friendship  of  Bucer,  whom  he  accompanied  into  Germany.  The  Jesuit, 
Malvenda,  a  stout  defender  of  Popish  idolatry,  having  made  vain  efforts  to  lead  him 
back  to  the  Romish  Church,  the  adversaries  of  Juan  Diaz  planned  a  most  detestable 
conspiracy  against  his  life,  and,  on  the  27th  of  March,  he  was  assassinated  by  order 
of  Alphonso  Diaz,  his  own  brother,  who  bad  come  from  Rome  in  order  to  the  accom- 
plishment of  this  execrable  outrage,  the  instigator  of  which  remained  unpunished. — 
Sec  the  record  of  this  odious  fratricide  in  Sleidan,  and  Ilistoire  dea  3farti/rs,  pp.  162, 
168  ;  and  Letter  CLXIII. 

*  Calvin  had  this  year  a  child  by  his  wife,  Idelette  de  Bure,  which  died  in  the 
birth. 

^  At  the  request  of  M.  de  Falais,  Calvin  had  prepared  an  apology  for  his  Lord- 


48  MONSIEUR  DE   FALATS.  [1546. 

I  shall  not  venture  to  promise  myself.  It  will  be  quite  enough 
for  me  if  you  have  the  persuasion  that  I  have  not  failed  from 
lack  of  good-will.  Indeed,  I  fear  you  may  not  find  that  which 
you  had  looked  for.  But  it  is  not  reasonable  that  I  bear  the 
blame  of  the  too  great  credit  which  I  may  have  with  you.  If 
I  had  been  in  a  right  frame,  and  had  I  had  leisure,  possible 
it  is  that  I  might  have  done  better.  But  since  these  two  things 
have  been  wanting  to  me,  I  pray  you  that  you  may  please 
hold  me  as  excused.  It  would  not  have  cost  me  very  much  to 
fill  up  a  much  larger  extent  of  paper;  but  I  have  studied 
brevity,  thinking  that  nothing  could  be  better,  considering  the 
personage  to  whom  the  writing  is  addressed.  It  did  not  occur 
to  Saint  Andrd  that  it  wanted  anything,  except  that,  on  having 
come  to  the  passage  about  your  retirement,  you  might  insist 
upon  deducting  separately  in  detrvil  the  travelling  expenses 
which  you  had  incurred  up  to  that  time.  I  had,  indeed,  thought 
of  another  conclusion  to  be  urged,  but  because  I  did  not  well 
know  how  to  keep  within  bounds,  I  have  let  it  alone.  You 
will  exercise  your  own  discretion  as  to  adding  an  article  to 
that  effect,  if  you  think  fit,  namely,  with  regard  to  the  pro- 
perty, which  you  did  not  venture  to  make  any  other  request  to 
him  about,  fearing  that  it  would  be  trouble  thrown  away,  to 
speak  to  him  about  the  property  before  being  reinstated  in  his 
good  graces,  and  also  because  that  is  the  thing  you  most  of  all 
desire  and  prefer  to  anything  else.  In  any  event,  let  it  please 
him  to  have  regard  to  such  a  family,  and  not  allow  himself  to 
be  led  by  those  who  only  seek  its  destruction.  I  know  not 
whether  it  would  be  of  advantage  to  your  brothers '  to  make 


ship,  which  waf?  to  be  presented  to  the  Emperor  at  the  Diet  of  Ratisbon.  This  me- 
morial, drawn  up  at  first  in  French,  then  translated  into  Latin,  and  along  with  a  pro- 
fession of  faith,  containing  valuable  details  for  the  history  of  M.  de  Falais,  has  the 
following  title  : — Apology  of  the  very  lllnstriong  Lord  James  of  Burgundy,  of  Falnine, 
and  of  Breda,  wherein  he  has  wiped  away  the  accusat-ions  wheretoith  he  has  been  branded 
in  the  night  of  the  Imperial  Majesty,  and  sets  forth  the  Confession  of  his  Faith.  This 
morceau  has  been  published  by  the  Amsterdam  editor  at  the  end  of  the  letters  of 
Calvin  to  M.  de  Falais. 

'  M.  de  Falais  had  five  brothers.  Those  alone  of  whom  mention  is  made  in  the  letters 
of  Calvin,  are  John,  Peigneur  de  Fremont,  and  Feter,  Pronotary  apostolic,  who  had 
embraced  the  Reformation. 


1546.]  MONSIEUR    DE   FALAIS.  49 

mention  of  them.     You  will  consider  about  that.     Towards  the 
end,  it  would  be  needful  to  add  an  express  clause,  to  remove 
the  suspicion  that  you  had  too  great  regret,  declaring  that  for 
the  honour  of  God  you  bear  the  loss  patiently,  beseeching  God 
that  he  would  always  make  you  sensibly  aware  of  the  work  of 
Jesus  Christ,  and  of  the  benefits  bestowed  on  you  by  him,  so 
as  to  reckon  all  things  but  loss  and  dung  in  comparison  of  him. 
If  you  determine  to  enter  upon  the  subject  of  the  property,  it 
appears  to  me  that  it  would  be  advisable  to  mention  it  thus 
briefly;  I  have  explained  the  reason  why  I  have  not  done  so. 
But  to  proceed,  Monseigneur,  I  have  detained  the  man  who 
has  brought  me  your  last,  hoping  that  he  would  be  the  mes- 
senger to  carry  you  this  answer.     But,  at  the  end  of  six  days, 
there  has  occurred  a  sudden  piece  of  business  to  Sire  Nicolas 
the  present  bearer.     I  have  thereupon  sent  away  the  other, 
delivering  to  his  care  the  two  young  children,  because  he  could 
not  have  arrived  so  soon.     He  has  been  sufficiently  admonished, 
not  so  much  by  me  as  by  the  others,  to  settle  and  choose  some 
manner  of  livelihood  ;  but  I  see  clearly  that  he  is  not  yet  tired 
of  running  about.     That  arises  in  part  from  his  too  great  sim- 
plicity,— for  he  has  no  great  head-piece.  Some  clodpole,  scarcely 
wiser  than  himself,  had  whispered  in  his  ear  in  passing,  that  I 
would  be  quite  able  to  recommend  him  to  Berne,  and  put  him 
in  the  way  of  bis  becoming  a  preacher.     I  have  done  every- 
thing to  repress  such  an  expectation :  but  he  does  not  leave 
off  his  roving  about ;  and  although  he  seems  to  approve  an 
advice  when  offered  to  him,  immediately  afterwards  he  begins 
to  do  the  same  thing  again.     I  am  sorry  for  it,  for  in  other  re- 
spects, I  find  him  well  disposed,  and  without  malice. 

As  for  the  business  of  Sire  Nicolas,  the  case  is  thus : — He  had 
no  means  of  squaring  his  accounts,  but  in  taking  the  place 
which  had  been  adjudged  in  hypothec  to  another  preferable 
creditor,  having  struck  off'  some  pieces  for  law  expenses.  Thus 
he  would  have  been  excluded,  had  he  not  undertaken  to  reim- 
burse the  other  party.  What  is  worse,  he  who  held  the  security 
was  himself  under  hypothec  elsewhere,  in  danger  that  his  pro- 
perty might  be  sold,  and  needed  to  re-assure  his  interest  therein. 
The  subject  is  well  worth  what  the  said  Nicolas  has  bargained 


50  MONSIEUR  DE   FALAIS.  [1546. 

for.  The  hardship  was  for  him,  that  he  would  have  had  to  pay 
seven  hundred  crowns  before  next  Easter,  and  also  that  it  is 
too  large  for  him.  But  the  necessity  made  him  forget  all  that. 
It  is  true  that  he  has  to  receive  from  Sire  Antony  Sieglessen 
a  sum  in  satisfaction  thereof,  but  he  fears  that  it  may  not  be 
ready  at  so  short  a  term,  seeing  that  he  will  have  to  transact 
with  people  who  have  no  pity.  In  that  perplexity,  he  has 
thought  that  if,  peradventure,  Antony  de  Sieglessen  might  not 
so  readily  be  forthcoming  with  that  which  he  has  to  receive 
from  him,  you  would  afibrd  him  some  assistance,  for  a 
month,  or  six  weeks'  delay,  on  his  giving  you  the  security  of 
Sire  Antony  and  the  place,  on  good  and  equitable  terms. 
When  he  asked  advice  of  me,  I  requested  him  to  try  all  means 
before  having  recourse  to  you,  which  he  had  already  indeed 
determined,  as  he  told  me,  but  that  it  was  his  last  remedy.  In 
any  event,  however,  he  would  bring  you  letters  of  assurance 
over  the  place.  To  this  I  have  not  agreed,  fearing  lest  it  might 
appear  to  you  that  it  would  have  the  effect  of  protracting  a 
settlement,  promising  to  him  to  assure  you  that  the  responsi- 
bility lies  not  with  himself  but  with  me. 

I  have  wished  much  to  make  this  statement  to  you,  Monsei- 
gneur,  on  purpose  that  you  should  be  informed,  that  he  did  not 
rashly  go  beyond  his  authority,  but  that  he  had  been  constrained 
thereto ;  in  order  also,  that  when  he  could  nowise  do  without 
your  help,  you  might  the  more  be  induced  to  aid  him.  I  can 
indeed  assure  you,  that  there  will  be  no  risk,  for  the  assignment 
is  quite  valid.  And  if  money  were  to  be  had  here,  he  would 
not  need  to  stir  out  of  the  house.  But  the  country  is  stripped 
so  bare  of  money,  that  it  is  lamentable,  the  more  so  that  there 
is  more  due  to  him  at  Strasbourg  than  he  has  need  for.  I  do 
not  take  upon  me  to  ask  it  of  you,  for  that  is  not  my  business. 
In  so  far  as  I  have  endeavoured  to  remove  the  doubts  which 
might  prevent  you,  I  hope  you  will  take  it  in  good  part,  and 
that  you  will  not  ascribe  it  to  importunity.  Besides  that,  it  is 
my  duty,  for  I  have  been  the  cause,  along  with  Monsieur  David, 
of  involving  him  in  this  anxiety.  For  we  made  the  first  pur- 
chase in  his  absence,  because  the  said  Monsieur  David  was  fully 
resolved  from  that  time  forward  to  complete  the  transaction. 


1546.]  MONSIEUR  DE   FALAIS.  51 

I  believe  that  you  have  been  otherwise  informed  of  the  death 
of  the  Marquis  of  Guasto.'  We  are  not  aware  what  the 
Emperor  intends  to  do,  except  that  people  are  coming  from 
Naples  toward  Genoa.  One  can  scarce  think  that  he  would  go 
so  far  for  pastime  as  to  Argiers.  And,  indeed,  I  believe,  that 
considering  himself  secure  upon  the  side  of  France,  and  leaving 
the  English  to  occupy  the  King's  attention,  having  fully  ordered 
everything  to  his  own  advantage  in  Germany,  he  would  not 
make  a  mere  feint  of  going  to  Argiers.* 

Master  William  Farel  and  Master  Peter  Viret,  in  passing 
from  hence,  have  requested  me  to  present  you  their  humble 
commendations.  They  have  been  here  eight  days  to  my  great 
comfort,  except  in  so  far  as  they  have  made  me  put  off  my  ex- 
cusing myself  to  you.  I  am  glad  of  your  well-disposeduess, 
and  principally  for  your  cheerfulness,  and  also  because  I  hope 
that  it  will  prove  a  means  of  our  seeing  you.  We  shall,  in  the 
meanwhile,  however,  pray  God,  that  he  would  restore  you  from 
better  to  better,  albeit  that  we  must  not  look,  neither  you  nor 
myself,  to  be  ever  of  much  worth  in  this  world. 

We  have  made  Saint-Andr^  preacher,  at  which  possibly  you 
will  be  amazed.  He  did  not  look  or  it;  and  I  believe  also, 
that  at  the  first  move  his  courage  would  not  have  inclined  him 
that  way.  But  we  have  made  conscience  of  it,  seeing  his  zeal 
and  readiness,  not  to  leave  him  always  idle.  I  hope  that  God 
will  make  use  of  him  for  the  profit  and  upbuilding  of  his 
Church.  He  has  not  been  brought  to  it  without  a  struggle, 
but  perceiving  that  the  call  was  from  on  high,  he  has  not  re- 
sisted it. 

To  conclude,  Monseigneur,  after  having  presented  the  humble 
commendations  as  well  of  myself  as  of  my  wife  to  your  kind 
favour  and  to  that  of  Madame,  I  shall  supplicate  our  good 
Lord  to  have  you  always  in  his  protection,  guiding  you  with  a 
view  to  his   honour,  as  he  has  done  hitherto,  and  shewing 


•  Alphonso  d'Avalos,  Marquis  of  Guasto,  governor  of  the  Milanese,  and  one  of  the 
ablest  generals  of  Charles  the  Fifth.     He  died  in  1546. 

'The  Emperor,  in  1544,  had  undertaken  a  disastrous  expedition  against  the  town 
of  Argiers.  The  military  movements  which  were  then  going  forward  in  Italy,  were  in- 
tended  to  cover  his  real  projects  of  attack  against  the  Protestant  princes  of  Germany. 


52  PAREL.  [1546. 

himself  so  powerful  in  you,  that  we  may  always  acknowledge 
the  fruit  of  that  great  victory  with  which  Jesus  Christ  con- 
soles us. 

Your  humble  servant  and  brother  in  our  Lord  Jesus, 

John  Calvin. 

When  I  had  finished  these  presents,  I  received  the  sad  news 
of  the  death  of  good  Diaz.'  But  it  so  happens,  that  the  un- 
happy Papists  shew  more  and  more  that  they  are  led  by  the 
spirit  of  their  father,  who  has  been  a  murderer  from  the  be- 
ginning. 

[Fr.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  194.] 


CLXIII.— To  Farel.» 

Troubles  at  Geneva — imprisonment  of  the  several  members  of  the  family  of  Favre — 
account  of  the  assassination  of  John  Diaz  at  Neubourg. 

[April  1546.] 

After  your  departure  the  dances  caused  us  more  trouble  than 
I  had  supposed.  All  those  who  were  present  being  summoned 
to  the  Consistory,  with  the  two  exceptions  of  Corna  and  Perrin, 
shamelessly  lied  to  God  and  us.     I  was  incensed,  as  the  vile- 

'  See  the  following  letter. 

"  The  Ecclesiastical  Ordinances,  digested  by  Calvin  and  adopted  by  the  councils 
of  the  republic,  daily  encountered  the  keenest  opposition  in  the  heart  of  a  party  which 
reckoned  at  its  head  men  belonging  to  the  most  distinguished  families  among  tho 
Genevese.  The  Consistory  and  Councils  together  took  care  that  the  laws  were  rigidly 
enforced,  and  checked  improprieties  without  respect  of  persons.  The  Captain-General, 
Amy  Perrin,  the  Syndic  Corna,  and  several  other  persons,  having,  contrary  to  tha 
prohibitions,  danced  in  a  private  house,  "  It  is  ordained,"  as  is  contained  in  the  Regis- 
ters of  12th  April  1546,  "that  they  all  be  imprisoned  j"  and  with  regard  to  the  wife 
of  Amy  Perrin,  who  spoke  insolently  to  the  Consistory,  that  she  also  be  imprisoned, 
and  be  required  to  find  security.  Perrin,  to  avoid  undergoing  the  punishment  pro- 
nounced against  him,  had  recourse  to  the  pretext  of  a  journey  to  Lyons;  but  he  was 
incarcerated  on  his  return.  The  Syndic  Corna  acknowledged  his  fault,  and,  after  a 
deposition  of  some  days,  he  was  reinstated  in  his  ofiBce.  The  minister,  Henry  de  la 
Mare,  was  deposed,  for  having  been  present  at  the  ball,  and  taken  the  side  of  the 
dance  and  dancers  against  the  Consistory.     See  Begiatera  of  Council,  April  1546. 


1546.]  FAREL.  53 

ness  of  the  thing  demanded,  and  I  strongly  inveighed  against 
the  contempt  of  God,  in  that  they  thought  nothing  of  making 
a  mockery  of  the  sacred  obtestations  we  had  used.  They  per- 
sisted in  their  contumacy.  When  I  was  fully  informed  of  the 
state  of  the  case,  I  could  do  nothing  but  call  God  to  witness 
that  they  would  pay  the  penalty  of  such  perfidy ;  I,  at  the 
same  time,  however,  announced  my  resolution  of  unbaring  the 
truth,  even  though  it  should  be  at  the  cost  of  my  own  life,  lest 
they  should  imagine  that  any  profit  was  to  come  of  lying. 
Francisca  also,  the  wife  of  Perrin,  grossly  abused  us,  because 
"we  were  so  opposed  to  the  Favres.'  I  replied  as  seemed  proper, 
and  as  she  deserved.  I  inquired  whether  their  house  was  in- 
violably sacred,  whether  it  owed  no  subjection  to  the  laws  ? 
We  already  detained  her  father  in  prison,  being  convicted  of 
one  act  of  adultery,^  the  proof  of  a  second  was  close  at  hand ; 
there  was  a  strong  report  of  a  third ;  her  brother  had  openly 
contemned  and  derided  the  Senate  and  us.  Finally,  I  added, 
that  a  new  city  must  be  built  for  them,  in  which  they  might 
live  apart,  unless  they  were  willing  to  be  restrained  by  us  here 
under  the  yoke  of  Christ ;  that  so  long  as  they  were  in  Geneva, 
they  would  strive  in  vain  to  cast  off"  obedience  to  the  laws ; 
for  were  there  as  many  diadems  in  the  house  of  the  Favres  as 
frenzied  heads,  that  that  would  be  no  barrier  to  the  Lord  being 
superior.  Her  husband  had  meanwhile  gone  to  Lyons,  hoping 
that  the  matter  would  be  silently  buried.  I  thought  that  they 
should  be  forced  to  a  confession  of  the  truth  by  an  oath.  Corna 
warned  them  that  he  would  by  no  means  suffer  them  to  perjure 
themselves.     They  not  only  confessed  what  we  wished,  but  that 


'  At  the  head  of  the  opposition  to  the  ministers  were  observed  the  different  mem- 
bers of  the  family  of  Francis  Favre,  a  dissolute  old  man,  and  father-in-law  of  Amy 
Perrin.  Francisca,  his  daughter,  wife  of  the  latter,  made  herself  remarkable  by  the 
violence  of  her  invectives  against  the  Consistory.  "  They  remonstrated  with  her,  and 
made  no  more  account  of  herself  and  her  father  than  of  the  lowest  in  the  city.  Being 
again  interrogated  whether  she  would  name  the  dancers,  twice  replied,  that  she  would 
rather  submit  to  punishment,  and  be  dragged  before  all  the  justices,  than  appear  be- 
fore the  Consistory." — Notes  Extracted  from  the  Registers  of  the  Comiatory  of  Geneva, 
by  the  late  Syndic  Cramer,  4to,  1853. 

"  "  That  the  father-in-law  of  Amy  Perrin,  who  has  committed  adultery,  be  also  im- 
prisoned, and  put  upon  his  trial." — Eeyistera  of  Council.     Ibid 


54  FAREL.  [1546. 

the}',  on  that  day,  danced  at  the  house  of  the  widow  of  Bal- 
thazar, They  were  all  cast  into  prison.  The  Syndic  was  an 
illustrious  example  of  moderation ;  for  he  publicly  spoke 
against  himself  and  the  whole  herd  so  severely,  that  it  was  un- 
necessary to  say  much  to  him.  He  was,  however,  severely  ad- 
monished in  the  Consistory,  being  deposed  from  his  office  until 
he  gave  proof  of  repentance.  They  say  that  Perrin  has  returned 
from  Lyons;  whatever  he  may  do,  he  will  not  escape  punish- 
ment. Henry  was  stripped  of  his  office  with  our  consent.  With 
him  there  fell  out  a  ludicrous  enough  altercation.  He  had 
admitted  that  what  had  been  taken  down  from  the  witnesses 
was  true.  Meanwhile  he  had  recourse  to  the  defence,  'Against 
an  elder  admit  no  accusation  unless  before  two  or  three  wit- 
nesses.' I  inquired  whose  saying  this  was, — '  Out  of  thine 
own  mouth  I  judge  thee,  worthless  servant ;'  for  that  now 
the  case  did  not  lie  in  the  trustworthiness  of  the  witnesses, 
but  in  his  confession.  Besides,  when  he  repudiated  the  witnesses, 
that  he  was  pressed  by  the  dilemma,  either  his  confession  was 
true  or  it  was  false :  if  true,  there  was  no  further  ground  for 
hesitation  ;  but  if  he  had  said  what  was  false,  he  was  to  be 
held  as  answerable  for  perjury,  because  he  had  sworn  to  some- 
thing different  from  the  reality.  It  therefore  came  to  this,  that 
he  might  say  that  he  had  spoken  falsely  and  without  regard  to 
principle.  When  he  said  that  it  was  unfair  that  he  should  be 
pressed  by  one  who  ought  to  have  been  his  defender,  I  inquired 
by  what  obligation  I  was  bound  to  him  to  defend  a  bad  cause, 
for  that  I  had  taken  no  oath  to  the  Franciscan  faction.  Much 
was  said  to  the  man,  backwards  and  forwards,  but  the  result 
was,  that  he  departed  loaded  with  the  reproach  and  odium  of 
all.  Being  deprived  of  his  ministry,  he  was,  at  the  same  time, 
thrust  into  prison,  whence,  however,  he  was  liberated  in  three 
days.  There  he  was  a  strenuous  patron  of  the  dances,  that  he 
might  embitter,  as  far  as  was  in  his  power,  the  hatred  towards 
me  of  those  who  were  already  more  than  sufficiently  alienated 
from  me.  But  whatever  Satan  may  essay  by  the  like  of  him, 
he  will  afford  a  striking  example.  For  two  things  are  already 
matter  of  public  talk,  that  there  is  no  hope  of  impunity  since 
even  the  first  people  of  the  city  are  not  spared,  and  that  I  show 


1546.]  FAREL.  55 

no  more  favour  to  friends  than  to  those  opposed  to  me.  Perrin 
with  his  wife  rages  in  prison;  the  widow  is  absolutely  furious; 
the  others  are  silent  from  confusion  and  shame. 

Diaz,  the  Spaniard,  whom  you  saw  here,  Viret,  at  the  house 
of  Des  Gallars,  and  who,  setting  out  from  Neuchatel  for  Ger- 
many, had  passed  through  with  the  two  Senarclens,  was  most 
cruelly  put  to  death.  When  the  Emperor  was  said  to  be  ap- 
proaching, he  had  repaired  to  Neubourg,  a  town  under  the  rule 
of  Duke  Otho  Henry.  From  that  place  he  wrote  to  me  on  the 
13th  of  March.  He  had  a  brother  at  Rome  of  the  name  of 
Alphonso,  who  came  thither  with  the  express  design  of  making 
away  with  this  godly  man.  They  conferred  together  for  some 
days.  When  Juan  observed  that  he  was  of  no  service,  he  left 
Alphonso.  The  latter,  pretending  that  he  had  forgotten  some- 
thing, sends  a  servant  to  recall  his  brother,  and  put  him  to 
death  in  the  house.  He  followed  him  to  the  house,  nor  did 
he  believe  the  domestic  that  the  slaughter  had  been  perpe- 
trated until  he  himself  had  viewed  the  corpse.  Then  he  hurried 
off  on  fleet  horses  to  the  county  of  Tyrol.'  Duke  Otho  sent  the 
prefect  of  the  palace  to  demand  that  he  should  be  given  up  to 
punishment.  Unless  Ferdinand  be  willing  to  throw  into  con- 
fusion all  things,  both  human  and  divine,  he  must  of  necessity 
avenge  so  base  and  abominable  an  outrage.  For  the  prefect 
has  at  the  same  time  surrendered  himself  a  prisoner. 

Adieu,  dearest  brethren ;  may  God  ever  protect  you.  Salute 
all  friends.  You,  Farel,  will  convey  to  the  heads  of  the  citizens 
my  best  greeting.  I  wish  that  I  could  one  day  creep  your 
length,  in  whatever  way  it  might  be  possible. — All  ours  salute 
you. 

[Calvi7i's  Lat.  Corresp. — Opera,  torn.  ix.  p.  38.] 

'  See  the  whole  of  this  narrative  in  the  HiHoire  dea  Martyra,  from  the  traot  of 
Claude  de  Senarclens :  Vera  Historia  de  Morte  Joannia  Diazii  Hiapani.   1546. 


56  AMY   PERRIN.  [1546. 


CLXIV.— To  Amy  Perrin.^ 

Complaints  regarding  the  conduct  of  Perrin — firm  and  courageous  declaration  by  the 
Reformer  of  his  resolution  to  persevere  in  his  duty  unto  death. 

[April  1546.] 

I  should  willingly  have  met  you,  Lord  Captain,  had  it.  not 
appeared  to  me  that  a  different  course  was  expedient.  You 
will  have  an  opportunity  of  hearing  the  reason  from  me  at  a 
proper  place  and  time.  I  could  have  wished,  however,  that  you 
had  appeared  at  the  Consistory,  by  way  of  example  to  others. 
As  in  that  respect  you  did  notdo  your  duty,  because  you  had  per- 
haps not  been  warned,  I  desired  you  at  least  to  be  present  at  the 
close  of  the  meeting  to-day,  that  the  Syndic  Corna  and  I  might 
there  discuss  the  matter  with  you.  What  there  was  to  prevent 
you  Ido  notsee.  Butthislwish  you  to  consider,  that  we  cannot 
enjoy  weight  for  weight  with  an  unequal  balance;  and  if  impar- 
tiality must  be  observed  in  the  administration  of  human  law,  any 
departure  from  it  cannot  be  tolerated  in  the  Church  of  God.   You 

'  Letter  without  date,  of  which  the  original  French  is  lost.  It  is  here  reproduced 
from  the  Latin  translation  inserted  in  the  collection  of  the  published  Latin  letters  of 
Calvin,  with  restoration  of  date,  April  1546. 

Amy  Perrin,  one  of  the  earliest  hearers  of  Farel  and  Froment  at  Geneva,  contribu- 
ted powerfuUj'  to  the  disenthralment  and  reformation  of  his  native  country.  At  one 
with  the  Reformers  in  the  abolition  of  the  ancient  worship  and  in  the  proclamation 
of  the  new,  which  he  regarded  as  the  security  for  the  independence  of  Geneva,  he  broke 
with  them  the  moment  they  undertook  to  correct  manners,  after  having  reformed  be- 
liefs. Ho  then  became  the  head  of  that  party  of  undisciplined  children  of  Geneva, 
"who  wished  to  live  according  to  their  own  inclination,  without  suflFering  themselves 
to  be  restrained  by  the  words  of  the  preachers,"  and  whose  triumph  led  to  the  banish- 
ment of  the  ministers,  (1538.)  Commissioned,  two  years  afterwards,  to  negotiate  their 
recall,  he  appeared  to  be  reconciled  to  Calvin,  and  to  submit  to  the  institutions  of  the 
Calvinistic  discipline;  but  the  submission  could  not  be  lasting,  and  we  again  find  him, 
in  1545,  along  with  Pierre  Vandel  and  the  two  Bertheliers,  at  the  head  of  the  party 
that  must  needs  continue  to  strive  with  the  ministers,  until  their  total  defeat,  (May 
1555.)  Of  an  irascible  temperament,  of  easy  and  frivolous  manners.  Amy  took  pleasure 
in  fetes,  and  in  appearing  in  public  magnificently  dressed.  Being  accused  (see  the 
preceding  letter)  of  having  taken  part  in  unlawful  dances,  he  refused  to  compear  be- 
fore the  Consistory,  incurred,  with  his  wife,  the  just  rigours  of  the  Seigneury,  and  be- 
came the  implacable  enemy  of  Calvin,  who,  in  a  letter  at  once  moderate  and  powerful, 
essayed  in  vain  to  bring  him  back  to  the  path  of  obedience  and  duty. 


1546.]  AMY  ri-RRiN.  57 

yourself  either  know,  or  at  least  ought  to  know,  what  I  am  ; 
that,  at  all  events,  I  am  one  to  whom  the  law  of  my  heavenly 
Master  is  so  dear,  that  the  cause  of  no  man  on  earth  will  induce 
me  to  flinch  from  maintaining  it  with  a  pure  conscience.  I 
cannot  believe  that  you  yourself  have  any  other  end  in  view,  but 
I  observe  that  no  one  has  his  eyes  wide  enough  open  when  the 
case  is  his  own.  As  far  as  I  am  concerned,  I  desire,  in  this 
very  matter,  to  consult  not  only  the  edification  of  the  Church 
and  your  salvation,  but  also  your  convenience,  name,  and 
leisure ;  for  how  odious  would  be  the  imputation  which  is  likely 
to  fall  upon  you,  that  you  were  apparently  free  from  and  unre- 
strained by  the  common  law,  to  which  every  one  is  subject?  It 
is  certainly  better,  and  in  accordance  with  my  zeal  for  your 
welfare,  to  anticipate  the  danger  than  that  you  should  be  so 
branded.  I  have  heard,  indeed,  what  has  proceeded  from  your 
house,  viz.,  that  I  should  take  care  lest  I  stir  up  a  slumbering 
fire,  lest  what  occurred  before  should  again  take  place,  in  the 
course  of  the  seventh  year.  But  these  speeches  have  no  weight 
with  me ;  for  I  did  not  return  to  Geneva  either  for  the  sake  of 
leisure  or  of  gain,  nor  will  it  again  grieve  me  to  be  constrained 
to  leave  it.  The  convenience  and  safety  of  Church  and  State 
made  me  willing  to  return  ;  and  if  measures  are  now  being 
taken  against  me  alone,  I  should  wish  it  to  be  said,  once  for  all, 
to  all  who  think  me  troublesome,  "  "What  you  do,  do  quickly." 
But  yet,  the  unworthy  treatment  and  ingratitude  of  some 
parties  will  not  cause  me  to  fail  in  my  duty,  and  I  will  lay 
aside  that  devoted  attachment  to  this  place  only  with  my  last 
breath,  of  which  I  take  God  as  my  voucher.  Nor  will  I  ever 
so  far  yield  to  the  humours  of  any  other  individual,  as  here- 
after to  dispense  with  his  personal  attendance.  These  observa- 
tions do  not  refer  to  you,  but  to  that  member  of  your  family 
that  is  nearest  to  you.  Nor  do  I  write  them  with  the  view  of 
spreading  quarrels,  but  that  it  may  be  manifest  with  what  firm- 
ness I  am  about  to  proceed,  whatever  may  happen.  I  am 
especially  desirous  to  impress  upon  you  the  necessity  of  ear- 
nestly seeking  to  acquire  the  primary  virtue  of  obedience  to 
God,  and  respect  for  the  common  order  and  politT  of  the  Church. 
May  the  Lord  protect  you  by  his  own  defence,  and  discover  to 


58  FAREL  AND  VIRET.  [1546. 

you  how  greatly  even  the  stripes  of  a  sincere  friend  are  to  be 
preferred  to  the  treacherous  blandishments  of  others! — Adieu. 
Your  attached  and  sincere  brother, 

John  Calvin. 

[Calvin's  hit.  Corresp.    Opera,  torn.  ix.  p.  80.] 


CLXY.— To  Farel  and  Viret.^ 

Requests  in  favour  of  the  faithful  in  France. 

Geneva,  1««  May  1546. 

This  pious  brother  is  a  citizen  of  Uz^s,^  a  place  where  many 
have  been  utterly  ruined  by  the  severity  of  the  ungodly.  They 
have  all  agreed  to  try  whether  any  succour  is  to  be  found 
among  the  Germans.  I  replied,  that  I  had  somewhat  greater 
hope  to-day,  in  that  our  princes  have  shewn,  by  clear  indica- 
tions, their  aversion  from  imprisoning.  I  had,  besides,  been 
reminded  that  there  was  a  certain  person  at  Worms,  sent  by  the 
Dauphin,  who  makes  many  promises.  I  am,  indeed,  aware  of 
the  hollowness  of  courts,  but  there  will  be  no  harm  in  making 
trial.  I  should  not  have  refused  what  they  strenuously  insisted 
upon,  viz.,  that  I  should  undertake  this  journey,  were!  not  still 
a  prisoner,  so  slow  is  the  process  of  my  convalescence.  I  hardly 
know  what  progress  I  have  hitherto  made  towards  recovery, 
unless  that  my  sufferings  are  allayed.^     I  have,  therefore,  left 

'  MeYiaced  by  a  common  peril,  and  having  equally  to  resist  the  pretensions  of 
Charles  V.  to  universal  rule,  the  King  of  France  and  the  Protestant  Princes  of  Ger- 
many had  resumed  negotiations,  that  must  seemingly  issue  in  a  lasting  treaty. 
This  treaty  of  alliance  was  for  long  the  object  of  the  prayers  and  the  hopes  of 
Calvin,  who  reckoned  upon  extracting  from  it  advantageous  results  to  the  French 
Protestants,  and  an  implicit  toleration  for  churches  until  then  subjected  to  the 
most  violent  persecutions.  He  pressed  Farel  and  Viret,  one  or  other,  to  repair  to 
Germany,  to  hasten  the  progress  of  negotiations  and  determine  the  conditions  of  the 
alliance. 

"  Is  this  Uzes  a  small  town  of  Languedoc,  now  comprised  in  the  department  of 
Gard  ?  Eeza  and  the  historian  of  the  martyrs  furnish  us  with  no  information  on  this 
point. 

^  Desirous  of  rendering  assistance  to  Calvin  during  his  illness  and  recovery,  the 
Seigneurs  of  Geneva  decided  upon  allowing  him  an  attendant  at  the  public  expense. 
— Registers  of  Council,  4th  March  1546. 


1546.]  FAREL   AND   VIRET.  59 

this  duty  to  one  of  you.  Whoever  of  you  finds  it  convenient 
will  provide  the  expenses.  As  you,  Viret,'  are  on  the  eve  of 
setting  out  for  Berne,  it  is  right  that  our  friend  Farel  be  relieved 
by  you  of  this  burden,  if  the  Senate  give  its  permission.  But 
if  you  shall  not  be  free  to  go,  Farel  himself,  I  know,  will  spare 
neither  himself  nor  his  age;  certainly  otherwise  he  will  be 
absolutely  indispensable.  Wherefore,  if  leave  of  absence  be 
den  ied  to  Viret,  take  care  you  do  not  fail,  Farel,  for  I  have  almost 
given  a  pledge  in  your  name  to  the  brethren.  It  remains  with 
you,  therefore,  to  fulfil  the  pledge,  even  though  it  were  given 
rashly.  Moreover,  because,  from  the  present  state  of  the  king- 
dom, it  would  be  in  vain  to  ask  of  the  King  what  he  ought  to 
do  of  his  own  accord,  we  have  judged  that  he  must  at  least  be 
required  to  undertake  the  commission  of  inquiry.  This,  again, 
will  be  equivalent  to  interdicting  the  Parliaments  from  engaging 
in  it.  In  the  next  place,  he  must  be  asked  to  nominate  extra- 
ordinary impartial  judges.  If  this  is  obtained,  a  great  step  will 
be  made.  To  aim  at  anything  beyond  this  would,  as  I  said,  be 
superfluous.  If  the  Chancellor  is  disposed  to  favour  us,  all  will 
be  well.^  But  as  he  is  timid  and  tardy,  we  must  see  to  it  that 
he  is  vigorously  urged  on.  Accordingly,  not  less  pains  must 
be  taken  in  these  secondary  matters  than  in  those  of  prime  im- 
portance. But  abjuration  is  always  to  be  expressly  excluded; 
for  we  do  the  work  of  Satan,  if  we  open  up  a  path  to  the  godly 
whereby  they  may  be  permitted  to  abjure  Christ.  I  diligently 
commend  the  whole  matter,  first  to  Master  James  Sturm,  whose 
authority  in  the  conventions  is  of  the  highest  order;  in  the  next 
place  to  Bucer,  that  he  may  stimulate  those  whom  he  can; 
again  to  Sturm  and  Dr.  Ulrich,  that  they  may  also  interpose 
the  weight  of  their  personal  influence.  The  affair  itself  will 
give  you  counsel.    You  are  not,  however,  tyros.    May  the  Lord 

1  Viret  waa  on  the  point  of  repairing  to  Berne,  in  order  to  discuss  certain  mntters 
relative  to  the  ordinances  of  the  Reformation  in  the  Pays  de  Vaud. — Ruchat,  vol.  v. 
p.  298. 

"After  the  disgrace  of  the  Chancellor  Poyet,  this  high  oflSce  was  filled  by 
Franfois  Olivier,  Seigneur  of  Louville,  President  of  the  Parliament  of  Paris.  lie 
resigned  in  1550,  and  again  became  Chancellor  in  1559,  in  order  to  give  his  sanc- 
tion to  the  lamentable  executions  of  Amboise,  which  he  survived  only  for  a  short 
time. 


60  MADAME   DE  FALAIS.  [1546. 

prosper  his  journey  wlio  shall  undertake  this  sacred  cause. — 
Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Yol.  106.] 


CLXYII. — To  Madame  de  Falais. 

Expression  of  Christian  sympathy  and  condolence  on  occasion  of  the  illness  of  M.  de 

Falais. 

From  Geneva,  this  2l8i  of  June  [1546.'] 

Madame, — Notwithstanding  that  the  addition  which  you 
have  made  to  your  letter  has  marvellously  saddened  me,  yet 
nevertheless  it  was  kind  to  have  informed  me  of  it,  for  that  will 
serve  to  bestir  us,  so  that  we  may  pray  to  God  with  so  much 
the  better  heart,  as  danger  is  to  be  feared.^  And,  indeed,  I 
had  already  heard  somewhat  thereof  by  Monsieur  Dallein,  and 
Master  Peter  Viret  has  confirmed  it  to  me.  Beside  that  in 
praying  to  God  to  look  down  with  pity  upon  us  in  this  strait, 
we  must  look  patiently  for  an  outlet  such  as  he  shall  please  to 
send;  and  whichsoever  way  he  disposes  thereof,  that  we  may 
be  prepared  to  bear  with  it  in  suchwise  that  it  must  effectually 
appear  how  obedient  we  are  to  him.  Bethink  yourself,  also, 
how  by  that  wearisome  sickness  and  so  many  relapses,  our  Lord 
admonishes  you,  before  the  blow,  so  to  strengthen  you,  that  you 
may  not  be  taken  by  surprise,  whatever  may  happen.  How- 
ever the  event  may  be,  I  do  well  believe  that  for  all  that,  al- 
though he  may  get  the  better  of  it,  we  must  not  count,  neither 
he  nor  myself,  upon  a  long  sojourning  here  below.  And  pos- 
sibly you  also  may  very  soon  after  follow  us.  But,  after  all, 
I  do  not  give  up  hope  of  more  gladsome  news. 

To  conclude,  Madame,  after  having  humbly  commended  me 
to  your  good  graces,  I  pray  our  good  Lord  to  have  ever  his  eye 

'  On  the  back,  in  the  handwriting  of  M.  de  Falais  :  "  Received  the  22d  Julj."  This 
note,  taken  in  connection  with  the  beginning  of  the  next  letter  to  M.  de  Falais,  settles 
the  date  of  the  present  one. 

*  M.  de  Falais  was  at  the  time  dangerously  ill. 


1546.]  FAREL.  61 

upon  you,  and  to  make  you  know  it  by  experience  for  your 
consolation,  increasing  in  you  all  those  graces  with  which  his 
children  ought  to  be  enriched. 

Your  humble  brother,  servant,  and  old  friend, 

John  Calvin. 

My  wife  presents  you  her  humble  commendations. 
[Orig.  aiitogr. — Library  of  Geneva.     Vol.  194.] 


CLXVIII.— To  Farel.' 

Excitement  caused  at  Geneva  by  the  Representation  of  a  Play. 

Geneva,  4^^  Jult/  1546. 

Our  plays  narrowly  escaped  being  converted  into  tragedy. 
AVhen  the  senate  had  asked  my  opinion,  I  said  that  I  would 
make  no  reply  unless  concerning  the  common  resolution  of  the 
brethren.  The  brethren  having  been  heard,  I  replied,  that  for 
many  reasons  it  did  not  seem  to  us  expedient  that  the  games 
should  be  proceeded  with,  and  at  the  same  time  I  explained 
the  grounds  of  our  opinion.  I  said,  however,  that  we  did  not 
wish  to  oppose  them,  if  the  senate  held  out  for  them.  When 
the  day  was  coming  on,  Michael,  (who  had  done  so  once  be- 
fore,) instead  of  preaching,  inveighed  against  the  actors ;  but 
so  vehement  was  this  second  invective,  that  a  concourse  of 

'  Certain  persons  having  obtained  from  the  magistrate  permission  to  act  in  public 
a  Morality,  entitled,  TTie  Acta  of  the  Apoetlee,  which  had  received  the  approbation  of 
the  ministers;  one  of  them,  named  Michael  Cop,  less  conciliatory  than  his  colleagues, 
preached  a  very  violent  discourse  in  the  church  of  St.  Peter,  and  said  that  the  women 
who  should  mount  the  theatre  to  act  that  farce,  would  be  shameless  creatures.  These 
■words  stirred  up  a  great  tumult  in  the  city,  and  Calvin  required  to  put  forth  all  his 
influence  to  quiet  the  agitation,  and  to  preserve  the  life  of  his  imprudent  colleague. 

The  plays  were  celebrated  in  presence  of  Viret.  "It  is  ordained,"  say  the  Regis- 
ters of  Council,  "that  booths  be  erected  for  our  seigneurs,  that  they  may  comfortably 
witness  the  representation  of  the  Acts  of  the  Apostles." — 1st  July  1546.  It  does  not 
appear,  however,  that  these  representations  were  frequently  repeated.  "  Upon  the 
remonstrances  of  the  ministers,"  we  read  in  the  Registers,  "resolved  to  delay  the  re- 
presentations of  the  theatre  to  a  less  calamitous  time." — July  1546.  Ruchnt,  vol.  v. 
p.  313.  The  minister  inculpated  was  not  Abel  Poupin,  as  Ruchat  relates,  but  Michael 
Cop,  as  the  Registers  attest 


62  FAREL.  [1546 

people  straightway  made  towards  me  with  loud  shouts,  threats, 
and  what  not.  And  had  I  not  by  a  strong  effort  restrained  the 
fury  of  some  of  them,  they  would  have  come  to  blows.  I  en- 
deavoured in  the  second  discourse  toappease  theirexasperation, 
observing  moderation,  for  I  judged  that  he  bad  acted  impru- 
dently in  having  at  an  unseasonable  time  chosen  such  a  theme 
for  declamation.  But  his  extravagance  was  the  more  dis- 
pleasing, since  I  could  by  no  means  approve  of  what  he  had 
said.  He  maintained  it  to  be  true;  I  firmly  denied  it.  There 
■were  some  of  the  brethren  who  encouraged  the  man  in  his 
obstinacy.  About  nine  in  the  evening,  I  was  told  that  a 
hundred  or  thereabouts  would  meet  on  the  following  day  in  the 
council-room.  I  immediately  called  the  brethren  together: 
we  came  to  the  resolution  that  we  ought  to  accompany  Michael. 
He  was  hardly  suffered  to  go  out  along  with  me.  I  bring  him 
to  the  place  of  meeting;  meanwhile  I  order  the  others  to  be 
sent  for.  His  accusers  indicate  their  refusal  to  speak  while  we 
are  present ;  for  they  said  they  had  no  concern  with  me,  be- 
yond that  they  regarded  me  with  reverence,  and  were  therefore 
unwilling  to  enter  into  any  dispute  with  me.  I  strenuously 
insist  that  the  cause  is  common,  until  it  appear  that  Michael 
has  erred  in  bis  duty.  We  are  ordered  to  withdraw  to  separate 
sides  of  the  house;  from  the  opposite  party  arise  seditious 
shouts ;  they  threateningly  assert  that  they  would  have  killed 
Michael  were  it  not  that  they  revered  me.  To  restrain  the 
tumult,  he  was  detained  in  the  council-room,  but  in  a  respect- 
ful manner.  On  the  following  day,  by  the  favour  of  the  Lord, 
we  quieted  all  disturbances  ;  for  Abel,'  by  the  esteem  in  which 
he  is  held,  and  I  by  my  authority,  prevailed  with  the  actors. 
The  senate,  however,  was  on  our  side,  I  was  so  far  displeased 
with  it,  that  it  was  not  more  courageous  and  spirited,  for  as 
usual  it  behaved  too  timidly  ;  the  result  is,  that  the  games  are 
now  going  on.  Yiret  is  present  as  a  spectator,  who  has  again 
returned,  according  to  arrangement,  with  a  view  to  restore  our 
furious  friend  to  sanity.^ 

'  The  minister,  Abel  Poupin,  exerted  his  interest  with  the  actors  to  appease  the 
tumult  excited  by  his  colleague. 

"  It  is  seen  by  this  instance,  that  Calvin  was  not  so  stern  as  to  proscribe  public 


1546.]  MONSIEUR   DE   FALAIS,  63 

Of  your  brothers  I  hear  absolutely  nothing.  There  is  with 
you  one  Elie  Limousin  by  name,  a  native  of  Rochelle,  who 
has  now  in  a  third  letter  asked  me  to  certify  to  you  what  I 
have  known  of  his  former  life.  Pious  people  who  come  from 
that  district  declare  that  he  was  an  upright  man,  and  of  hon- 
ourable life,  and  also  that  he  was  unmarried  when  he  removed 
thence  to  us.  There  is  no  reason,  therefore,  why  any  suspicion 
of  this  nature  should  be  a  hindrance  to  his  marriage.  You 
will  apologize  for  my  not  having  replied  to  him,  and  also  for 
having  so  cursorily  gone  over  to  you  what  perhaps  demanded 
a  longer  discourse.  Adieu,  dearest  brother  in  the  Lord,  and 
most  sincere  friend.  Salute  respectfully  all  the  brethren ; 
there  is  no  salutation  from  any  one  here  to  you  or  them,  as  no 
one  knew  I  was  going  to  write  except  Nicolas,  the  father-in- 
law  of  a  brother,  who  came  in.  May  the  Lord  be  ever  present 
with  you,  and  bless  your  sacred  labours. 
[Calvin's  Lat.  Corresp.     Opera,  torn.  ix.  p.  43.] 


CLXYIII. — To  Monsieur  de  Falais. 

Proposals  of  matrimony  on  behalf  of  Viret. 

Geneva,  4<^  July  1546. 

MoNSEiGNEUR, — You  see,  by  the  date  of  the  other  letters, 
what  a  length  of  time  they  have  lain  by  me  since  they  were 
written,  forasmuch  as  the  bearer  could  not  find  means  to  fill  his 
letter-case;  whereof  I  wished  to  inform  you,  fearing  that  you 
might  suppose  that  he  had  kept  them  up  for  such  a  length  of 
time  in  his  own  hands.  We  are  in  great  anxiety  for  news  con- 
cerning you,  on  account  of  the  rumour  which  is  abroad.  The 
Lord  graciously  vouchsafe  that  you  may  have  matter  wherewith 
to  gladden  us.  Now,  however,  since  the  bearer  has  been  tarry- 
ing for  a  while,  I  have  taken  upon  me.  Monsieur,  to  make  a 

games  and  amusements  that  harmonized  with  decency.  "  He  himself  made  no  scruple 
in  engaging  in  play  with  the  seigneurs  of  Geneva;  but  that  was  the  innocent  game 
of  the  key,  which  consists  in  being  able  to  push  the  keys  the  nearest  possible  to  the 
edge  of  a  table." — Morus,  quoted  Hist,  de  la  Suisse,  vol.  xi.  p.  356. 


G4:  MONSIEUK  DE  FALAIS.  [1546 

request  of  you.  You  know  that  our  brother  Viret  is  about  to 
marry.  I  am  in  as  great  anxiety  about  it  as  himself.  We 
have  plenty  of  wives  here,  both  at  Lausanne  and  at  Orbe  ;  but 
yet  there  has  not  hitherto  appeared  a  single  one  with  whom  I 
should  feel  at  all  satisfied.  While  we  have  this  matter  in 
hand,  I  would  beseech  you  earnestly,  if  you  have  remarked 
any  one  in  your  quarter  who  appears  to  you  likely  to  suit  him, 
that  you  would  please  let  me  know  of  it.  I  have  not  thought 
fit  to  apply  to  any  other  than  yourself,  seeing  that  every  one 
has  not  the  prudence  which  is  herein  required.  You  may 
reply  to  me,  that  I  am  at  least  acquainted  with  some  one  in 
your  neighbourhood;  but  I  shall  not  venture  to  breathe  a 
word  before  having  your  opinion,  which  you  can  tell  me  in 
one  word,  for  I  shall  hold  your  silence  for  a  non  placet}  I 
have  not  felt  the  least  difficulty  in  addressing  you  privately 
in  regard  to  this,  although  the  subject  may  be  rather  delicate, 
for  the  necessity  of  the  case  would  excuse  me,  were  I  even 
somewhat  importunate,  because  there  was  no  one  else  in  whom 
it  appeared  safe  to  confide ;  and  I  am  well  aware  that,  for  your 
part,  knowing  of  how  much  consequence  the  marriage  of  such 
a  man  is  for  the  Church  of  God,  you  would  not  spare  yourself 
any  pains  therein.  Indeed,  I  would  not  hinder  your  acting 
directly  for  him,  supposing  that  a  suitable  party  can  be  found 
there ;  but  in  regard  to  asking  advice,  I  have  taken  for  granted 
that  you  will  allow  me  that  liberty. 

In  conclusion,  Monseigneur,  after  having  commended  me  to 
your  kind  favour  with  such  affection  as  that  wherewith  I  love 
you,  I  pray  our  good  Lord  to  have  always  a  care  of  you,  guid- 
ing you  in  suchwise  that  you  may  be  more  and  more  service- 
able for  the  advancement  of  his  glory. 

Your  servant,  humble  brother,  and  entire  friend, 

John  Calvin. 

\Fr.  copy — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  194.] 

'  Allusion  to  a  sister  of  M.  de  Falais, 


1546.]  VI  RET.  65 

CLXIX.— To  ViRET. 

Account  of  the  steps  taken  relative  to  his  marriage. 

13th  July  1546. 

Think  of  what  you  are  going  to  do,  and  then  write  to  me 
again  what  resolution  you  have  come  to.  The  more  we  inquire, 
the  more  numerous  and  the  better  are  the  testimonies  with 
which  the  young  lady  is  honoured.  Accordingly,  I  am  now 
seeking  to  discover  the  mind  of  her  father.  As  soon  as  we 
have  reached  any  certainty,  I  will  let  you  know.  Meanwhile, 
do  you  make  yourself  ready.  This  match  does  not  please 
Perrin,  because  he  wishes  to  force  upon  you  the  daughter  of 
Rameau.  That  makes  me  the  more  solicitous  about  pre-occui 
pying  the  ground  in  good  time,  lest  we  be  obstructed  by  having 
to  make  excuses.  To-day,  as  far  as  I  gather,  he  will  enter 
upon  the  subject  with  me,  for  we  are  both  invited  by  Corna  to 
supper.  I  will  gain  time  by  a  civil  excuse.  It  would  tend  to 
promote  the  matter  if  I,  with  your  permission,  should  ask  her. 
I  have  seen  her  twice;  she  is  very  modest,  with  an  exceedingly 
becoming  countenance  and  person.  Of  her  manners,  all  speak 
so  highly  that  John  Parvi  lately  told  me,  he  had  been  captivated 
by  her.  Adieu ;  may  the  Lord  govern  you  by  his  counsel,  and 
bless  us  in  an  undertaking  of  such  moment. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.     Yol.  106.] 

CLXX.— To  ViRET. 

Freeh  details  regarding  the  projects  for  his  marriage. 

Geneva,  15f^  Juli/  1546. 

Three  days  ago,  towards  the  conclusion  of  supper,  mention 
was  made  of  your  marriage,  which  I  had  foretold  you  would 
be  the  case.  But  Dominic  Arlot,  whose  assistance  I  had  em- 
ployed, presently  interrupted  the  conversation;  for  he  said  that 
the  matter  was  completed.  On  hearing  this  our  friend  in- 
9 


68  viRET.  [1546. 

stantly  sprung  up  from  table,  and,  in  bis  usual  way,  gave  reins 
to  bis  indignation  ;  for,  says  be,  bis  wbole  body  sbaking,  "Will 
be  tben  marry  that  girl  of  low  connections?  Could  tbere  not 
be  found  for  him  in  tbe  city  one  of  better  family?  Wboever 
bave  been  tbe  originators  or  abettors  of  tbis  business,  I  regard 
tbem  as  vile  and  infamous.  Of  a  brotber  and  sister  I  am  tbus 
unwillingly  compelled  to  speak."  I,  in  reply,  say,  "I  could 
not  be  tbe  originator  of  it,  inasmucb  as  tbe  young  lady  was 
unknown  to  me.  I  acknowledge  tbat  I  was  a  promoter  of  it, 
and,  indeed,  tbe  principal  one;  but  tbat  tbe  matter  is  finally 
settled,  as  Dominic  has  asserted,  is  not  true,  beyond  tbis,  tbat 
I  bave  gone  so  far  in  it  tbat  to  draw  back  would  be  dishonour- 
able. In  tbat  tbere  is  nothing  for  me  to  be  ashamed  of."  His 
fury  was  tbus  turned  into  laughter.  But  be  again  began  to  grow 
Lot,  because  tbe  matter  bad  been  concealed  from  bim  by  you. 
He  was  especially  inflamed  witb  a  foolish  jealousy,  because 
Corna  confessed  tbat  you  and  be,  while  riding,  bad  talked  over 
tbe  thing  togetber.  "Is  it  even  so?"  be  proceeded  to  say  to 
Corna.  "Was  it  for  tbis  I  attended  bim  along  witb  you,  that 
be  migbt  in  tbe  most  insulting  manner  shut  out  from  bis 
counsels  tbe  most  attached  friend  be  has  in  tbe  world?  [for]  I 
would  cbeerfully  prefer  bim  to  myself." 

I  objected  tbat  be  himself  drew  a  false  conclusion,  since  you 
bad  not  disclosed  your  mind  even  to  Farel.  He  was,  therefore, 
again  pacified,  though  be  talked  of  the  daughter  of  Eameau, 
whom  be  extolled  in  an  extraordinary  manner.  I  nodded  as- 
sent to  all  the  encomiums,  that  I  migbt  remain  firm  in  regard 
to  tbe  other  party. 

Consider,  now,  wbetber  it  be  expedient  for  you  to  come  into 
tbe  city  disengaged.  For  there  will  be  a  hateful  apologizing, 
if  they  proceed  to  obtrude  her  upon  you.  I  know  how  danger- 
ous even  it  maybe  to  give  a  promise  before  tbe  natural  dispo- 
sition of  the  girl  has  been  ascertained.  I  am  full  of  anxiety, 
nor  can  I  easily  clear  a  way  for  myself.  I  think,  however,  that 
this  course  would  not  be  ridiculous.  Suppose  you  consent  to 
my  asking  tbe  young  lady  in  your  name,  the  condition  being 
added,  tbat  before  tbe  betrothal  takes  place,  you  are  to  meet  her, 
tbat  we  may  give  some  certain  promise.     T|?ey  will  thus  not 


1546,]  viRET.  67 

dare  to  press  you.  Write  in  return,  therefore,  by  the  earliest 
possible  messenger  what  your  views  are,  although,  at  the  same 
time,  I  give  it  as  my  advice  that  you  should  not  delay  long, 
but  come  on  an  early  day.  Of  the  lady,  I  hear  nothing  that  is 
not  highly  pleasing.  In  her  father  and  mother,  also,  there  is 
nothing  blamable.  I  am  the  more  confirmed,  when  I  see  that 
our  opponents  have  nothing  to  carp  at  beyond  this,  that  it  was 
impossible  for  them  to  frighten  us  from  our  purpose.  There 
are  some  things  about  the  daughter  of  Rameau  which  I  fear ; 
nevertheless,  as  it  is  your  own  affair,  you  will  be  free  to  choose. 
I  will  never,  however,  allow  that  there  is  any  man  on  earth 
who  has  greater  concern  about  his  own  matters  than  I  have 
about  the  present. 

This  youth  came  to  us  from  Italy,  with  the  view  of  giving 
his  attention  to  sacred  literature,  if  a  situation  had  been  found 
such  as  he  had  hoped  for.  But  as  he  has  been  disappointed, 
he  wished,  before  he  returned  home,  to  pay  you  a  visit.  I  have 
observed  in  him  a  truly  good  disposition.  You  will  say  a  few 
words  to  confirm  him  in  the  fear  of  the  Lord,  and  in  reverence 
for  his  teaching. — Adieu.  May  the  Lord  direct  you  by  his 
counsel,  and  bless  you  in  a  recommendation  of  so  much  mo- 
ment.    Salute  respectfully  all  the  brethren. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

Forgive  me  for  not  having,  some  time  ago,  sent  to  you  this 
letter  by  our  treasurer — I  mean  Bucer's,  for,  as  the  messenger 
brought  it  open,  I  thought  that  it  had  been  already  read  by  you 
and  Farel.  Afterwards,  he  reminded  me  that  not  even  Toussain 
had  read  it.  You  will  therefore  send  it  to  Farel,  as  soon  as 
you  shall  have  an  opportunity.  I  am  surprised  that  Bucer 
was  not  aroused  by  the  murderous  outrage  so  greatly  to  be 
execrated,  which  the  Emperor  perpetrated  when  he  struck  off 
the  heads  of  the  principal  senators  at  Ratisbon.  I  am  also  sur- 
prised that  he  has  made  no  mention  of  the  incendiaries,  but  I 
set  it  down  partly  to  his  engagements.  The  other  matter  he 
has  perhaps  passed  over  on  purpose,  because  he  did  not  dare 
to  commit  everything  to  writing  in  these  dubious  times. 
[^Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.     Vol.  106.] 


68  viRET.  [1546. 

CLXXI.— To  YiEET. 

Same  subject  as  the  preceding. 

[July  1546.] 

Only  say  the  word,  the  thing  is  settled.  I  should  never 
have  been  in  such  haste,  had  I  not  been  stimulated  by  so  many 
remarkable  testimonies.  But  nothing  gave  me  a  greater  im- 
pulse than  the  desire  to  be  freed  from  those  embarrassments 
of  which  you  are  aware. 

Adieu,  again. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

\Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  106.1 

CLXXII.— To  YiRET.' 

Breaking  oflF  of  the  match  treated  of  in  the  preceding  letters. 

Geneva,  25th  July  1546. 

What  I  wrote  to  you,  by  the  treasurer,  regarding  the  settle- 
ment of  the  matter,  was  told  to  me  by  Peter  Ursier,  whom  I 
was  then  employing  as  negotiator ;  because  I  was  unwilling  to 
say  anything  myself,  until  I  had  received  a  more  definite  com- 
mission. But  after  reading  your  letter,  I  waited  on  the  father 
and  daughter,  that  I  might  be  absolutely  certain  of  success.  As 
soon,  however,  as  reference  was  made  to  a  change  of  residence, 
the  father  took  exception  to  it,  on  the  ground  that  something 
different  had  been  promised  him.  I  said  that  no  promise  to 
that  effect  had  been  made  with  our  knowledge ;  and,  moreover, 
that  I  had  carefully  enjoined  Peter  Ursier  not  to  cajole  them  by 

'  The  project  of  marriage,  developed  in  the  two  preceding  letters,  not  having  been 
realized,  Viret  turned  his  attention  in  another  direction ;  and  a  passage  in  his  will, 
preserved  in  the  Archives  of  Geneva,  informs  us  that  he  espoused,  in  his  second  mar- 
riage, Elizabeth  Laharpe,  daughter  of  a  French  refugee  of  Lausanne.  This  marriage 
was  celebrated  in  October  or  November  1546,  and  the  nuptial  benediction  was  pro- 
nounced by  Calvin  himself,  who,  in  a  subsequent  letter,  (of  the  3d  December,)  makes 
allusion  to  the  journey  which  he  had  accomplished,  in  order  to  be  present  at  the  nup- 
tials of  his  friend. 


1546.]  viRET,  69 

sucli  promises.  I  pointed  out  how  absurd  it  would  be  if  we 
were  to  leave  our  churches  to  follow  whither  our  wives  called 
us ;  that  a  marriage  consummated  under  such  a  condition 
would  be  an  unhappy,  because  an  unholy,  alliance,  that  would 
not  pass  without  punishment  falling  on  both  you  and  the  girl; 
finally,  that  you  would  never  be  prevailed  upon  to  afford  the 
first  example  of  so  disgraceful  a  practice,  and,  therefore,  that  it 
was  in  vain  to  make  the  request.  I  added,  that  Lausanne  was 
not  so  far  distant  from  this  as  to  prevent  his  daughter  from 
being  with  him  as  often  as  might  be  necessary  ;  that  it  would, 
likewise,  be  more  satisfactory  to  have  daily  to  congratulate  his 
absent  daughter  than  constantly  to  see  and  hear  her  weeping 
and  bewailing  the  cruelties  of  her  husband,  which  he  observed 
was  the  case  with  so  many.  He  requested  space  for  delibera- 
tion, and,  at  the  end  of  three  days,  he  replied,  that  he  was  un- 
willing to  send  his  only  daughter  from  home.  I  felt  greatly 
indignant  at  being  so  deluded  by  the  folly  of  those  in  whom 
I  trusted.  I  restrained  myself,  however,  and  dissembled  my 
anger.  But  I  do  not  need  to  offer  any  more  lengthened  excuse 
to  you,  as  I  am  free  from  all  blame.  We  may  accordingly 
turn  to  some  other  quarter.  Christopher  spoke  to  me  of  a 
certain  widow,  who,  he  asserts,  pleases  him  admirably.  If 
such  is  the  case,  I  am  at  rest,  and  leave  it.  But  if  not,  indi- 
cate your  mind.  We  shall  very  shortly,  also,  have  a  messen- 
ger from  Strasbourg. — Adieu,  brother,  and  most  sincere  friend. 
Salute  all  the  co-presbyters  very  affectionately.  May  the  Lord 
preserve  you  all  safe,  and  direct  you  by  his  Holy  Spirit  even 
to  the  end. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

Excuse  me  for  not  writing  by  the  female  servant  of  Petro- 
nilla,  for  I  was  not  then  fully  aware  of  the  state  of  the  case ; 
in  other  words,  there  was  still  a  gleam  of  hope. 
[Lat.  orig.  aviogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  106.] 


70  FAREL.  [1546. 


CLXXIII.— To  Farel. 

Violence  of  the  family  of  Amy  Perrin — declamations  of  the  wife  of  Froment  against 
the  ministers  of  Geneva.  ' 

Geneva,  [1»*  September  1546.] 

Although  the  letter  was  not  in  every  respect  to  my  mind,  for 
I  was  afraid  that  its  undue  harshness  might  hurt  so  delicate  a 
stomach,  I  took  care  to  have  it  forwarded,  but  in  such  a  way 
that  he  should  not  know  that  I  had  seen  it.'  For  this  person 
coDveyed  it  to  his  house  as  if  it  had  been  intrusted  by  you  to 
himself.  Should  he  thunder  after  his  peculiar  fashion,  his  bolts 
will  die  away  in  mere  clatter,  I  not  only  appear  before  him, 
but  almost  obtrude  myself  upon  him ;  only,  I  observe  a  mean, 
that  I  may  keep  in  mind  the  place  I  hold  ;  nor  is  this  done  on 
my  own  account,  but  because  the  man,  being  accustomed  to 
adulation,  would  abuse  my  modesty,  to  the  derision  of  Christ. 
I  therefore  despair  of  him,  unless  God  apply  a  remedy.  His  wife 
is  an  unnatural  fury.  The  widow  N.  is  so  shamelessly  wanton, 
that  you  would  say  she  is  quite  youthful.  Then,  having  an  evil 
conscience,  she  is  excited  by  every  word  that  is  spoken  before 
the  congregation,  and  discharges  upon  us  at  home  the  venom 
she  harbours.  She  has  manifested  towards  you,  however,  mar- 
vellous good-will ;  for  she  took  to  her  house  your  two  nephews, 
■when  they  were  dangerously  ill,  and  treats  them  as  her  own 
sons.  This  kind  office  deserves  a  liberal  meed  of  thanks, 
which  you  will  not  omit  to  convey  to  her,  whenever  a  messenger 
shall  present  himself.  She  is  so  opposed  to  all  of  us,  that  I 
believe  Csesar*  himself  is  not  more  of  an  enemy ;  and  yet,  I 
confess  I  do  not  know  what  cause  is  to  be  assigned  for  this,  unless 
that  she  shamelessly  undertakes  the  defence  of  all  her  crimes. 

'  At  the  request  of  Calvin,  Farel  had  written  a  letter  to  Amy  Perrin,  in  order  to 
calm  his  resentment,  and  lead  him  back  to  the  good  path.  The  message  of  Farel,  like 
that  of  Calvin  himself,  was  without  effect,  and  the  quarrel  between  the  Reformer  and 
his  old  friend,  now  his  adversary,  became  daily  more  confirmed  and  violent. 

"  A  term  frequently  employed  by  Calvin  to  designate  Perrin,  with  the  adjunct  of  a 
derisive  epithet, —  Caaar  our  comedian. 


^546.]  FAREL.  71 

I  am  now  going  to  give  you  a  humorous  story.     The  wife  of 
Froment '  lately  came  to  this  place.     She  declaimed  through  all 
the  shops,  and  at  almost  all  the  cross-roade,  against  long  gar- 
ments.    When  she  knew  that  I  was  aware  of  it,  she  excused 
herself  by  alleging  that  she  had  said  with  a  smile,  that  we  were 
either  unbecomingly  clothed,  to  the  great  detriment  of  the 
Church,  or  that  you  taught  what  was  erroneous,  when  you  said 
that  false  prophets  could  be  distinguished  by  their  long  vest- 
ments.    When  I  was  rebutting  so  stale  a  calumny,  she  began  to 
ascribe  even  to  the  Holy  Spirit  what  she  had  directed  against  us. 
What  is  the  meaning,  said  she,  of  that  passage  of  the  Gospel, 
"  They  will  come  to  you  in  long  garments?"     I  replied,  that  I 
did  not  know  where  that  sentence  was  to  be  found,  unless,  per- 
haps, it  might  occur  in  the  gospel  of  the  Manichasans ;  for  the 
passage  of  Luke  xx.  45,  is  as  follows:  "Beware  of  the  Scribes, 
who  desire  to  walk  in  long  robes,"  but  not,  "They  will  come  to 
you,"  &c.,  which  she  had  interpolated  from  Matthew  vii.  [15.] 
Feeling  that  she  was  closely  pressed,  she  complained  of  our 
tyranny,  because  there  was  not  a  general  license  of  prating 
about  everything.     I  dealt  with  the  woman  as  I  should  have 
done.     She  immediately  proceeded  to  the  widow  of  Michael, 
who  gave  her  a  hospitable  reception,  sharing  with  her  not  only 
her  table,  but  her  bed,  because  she  maligned  the  ministers.     I 
leave  these  wounds  untouched,  because  they  appear  to  me  in- 
curable until  the  Lord  apply  his  hand.     We  are  to  celebrate 
the  Supper  on  the  next  Lord's-day.     You  may  thus  form  a 
judgment  of  the  straits  by  which  I  am  encompassed.     Would 
that  it  could  be  celebrated  without  me,  even  on  condition  that 
I  should  creep  to  you  on  my  hands !     I  wish  that  the  verse  of 
Terence  would  occur  to  your  brothers,  "  To  lose  in  time  is  to 
make  gain."     I  have  admonished  them,  but  they  do  not  make 
the  haste  I  wished.     They  may  bear,  however,  for  a  short  time 
the  delay  that  has  taken  place,  although  it  is  disagreeable  to 
us. — Adieu,  brother  and  most  sincere  friend.     Salute  respect- 
fully, in  ray  name,  all  the  brethren,  your  family,  and  the  godly 

'  See  note  1,  vol.  i.  p.  343.  It  appears,  from  this  passage,  that  Fremont  was  not  at 
that  time  settled  in  Geneva.  He  was  called  thither  a  short  time  afterwards  to  assist 
Francis  Bonivard  in  digesting  the  Chronicles  of  the  city. 


72  TAREL.  [1546. 

citizens.     May  the  Lord  preserve  you,  and  always  direct  you 
by  his  Spirit  1     Amen. 

[Calvin's  Lat.  Corre$p. — Opera,  vol.  ix.  p.  38.] 


CLXXIV.— To  Farel. 

Calvin's  indisposition — literary  labours — apparent  reconciliation  with  Perrin  and  his 

family. 

Geneva,  2d  October  1546. 

Not  to  beguile  you  by  a  vain  bope,  I  may  say  that  I  do  not 
think  I  shall  come  to  your  place  before  winter ;  for  having  once 
experienced  the  inconvenience  of  a  voyage,  I  shall  not  venture 
again  to  commit  myself  to  the  waters.  A  good  part  of  the 
journey  would  thus  fall  to  be  accomplished  on  foot,  for  the  jolt- 
ing of  a  horse  is  not  only  hurtful  to  me,  but  the  rubbing  also  is 
dangerous.  I  am  not  acquainted  with  the  physician  of  whom 
you  speak,  nor  do  I  rightly  understand  what  druggist  you  blame, 
unless,  as  I  conjecture,  you  hint  at  Francis.  What  Textor  may 
now  think  I  do  not  know,  except  that  he  was  too  stringent  in  his 
prescriptions.  For  by  involving  himself  in  the  lawsuits  of  his 
father,  he  has  woven,  in  his  native  place,  a  Penelope's  web  that 
will  have  no  end.  Meanwhile,  you  see  him  complaining  that 
he  was  deprived  of  my  advice.  But  this  peevishness  of  the 
good  man  must  somehow  or  other  be  tolerated  by  us.  As  you 
exhort  me  to  write,  I  wish  I  had  more  leisure  occasionally,  and 
more  robust  health.  I  have  now,  however,  set  myself  in  earnest 
to  the  Epistle  to  the  Galatians,'  I  am  not  free  in  the  matter  of 
publication,  as  far  at  least  as  the  Epistles  of  Paul  are  concerned. 
You  once  heard  from  me  when  I  was  at  Strasbourg,  that  Wen- 
delinlaid  me  under  obligations  by  services  of  such  a  nature,  that 
I  should  be  constrained  to  charge  myself  with  ingratitude  unless 

'  The  Commentaries  on  the  four  Epistles  of  St.  Paul  to  the  Galatians,  the  Epbcsians, 
the  Philippians,  and  the  Colossians,  were  not  published  until  1548,  by  the  bookseller 
Girard,  of  Geneva.  Is  there  a  previous  edition  of  the  Commentary  on  the  Galatians  ? 
We  are  not  aware  of  any. 


1546.]  FAREL.  73 

I  offered  this  work  to  him.  For  at  the  time  of  my  greatest 
straits,  he  expended  on  my  behalf  above  forty  golden  pieces, 
and  he  was  not  less  prompt  in  his  assistance  in  taking  charge 
of  my  domestic  afiairs,  than  if  I  had  hired  him  for  the  express 
purpose  of  superintending  them.  I  am,  therefore,  now  not  at 
liberty  to  refuse  him  the  Epistles.  If  I  should  write  anything 
else,  it  will  rather  be  published  here,  and  yet  Des  Gallars  could 
find  no  one  to  undertake  to  bring  out  two  short  treatises  he  had 
composed.  Before,  however,  I  subject  my  writings  to  any  risk, 
I  shall  retain  a  copy.  I  left  off  for  a  time  a  short  treatise,  De 
Scandalis,^  that  I  had  begun,  because  the  style  did  not  flow  so 
freely  as  I  wished,  nor  have  I  a  mind  to  resume  it,  until  I  shall 
have  completed  the  Commentary  on  the  Epistle  to  the  Gala- 
tians.  I  had  lately  some  conversation  with  our  friend  Perrin. 
If  he  perform  what  he  promised,  matters  will  not  be  at  the  very 
worst.'^  Penthesilasa,  while  in  her  outward  deportment  she 
affects  a  wonderful  friendship,  rages  within  doors  in  a  terrible 
manner.  I  observe  that  you  have  written  to  her.  I  shall  call 
for  her  on  the  earliest  opportunity.  I  shall  then  discover  what 
effect  your  letter  has  had. — Adieu,  brother  and  most  sincere 
friend.  May  the  Lord  be  ever  present  with  you,  always  protect 
you,  and  render  your  labours  prosperous!  I  wrote  to  the  mini- 
sters of  Berne.  If  you  desire  to  know  the  contents  of  the  letter 
Yiret,  I  think,  retained  a  copy.  My  wife  reverently  salutes  you, 
as  also  Des  Gallars,  Feron,  my  brother,  (for  since  I  received 
yours  I  have  not  seen  the  others.)  The  best  greeting  to  the 
brethren  and  friends,  and  to  your  whole  family. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

I  had  no  talk  with  Perrin  about  your  letter.    I  was  unwilling 
to  touch  that  sore,  until  it  should  have  been  somewhat  molli- 


'  This,  one  of  the  most  remarkable  of  the  works  of  Calvin,  appeared  only  in  1550. 

"This  apparent  reconciliation  was  without  satisfactory  result.  Perrin  could  not 
tolerate,  nor  Calvin  sacrifice,  the  right  of  censure  vested  in  the  Consistory,  and  which 
the  excesses  of  the  Lihertina  daily  rendered  more  necessary.  "  Complaints  to  the 
Council  by  M.  Calvin  regarding  the  dissoluteness  of  the  youth,  there  being  nothing 
more  common  in  the  city  than  acts  of  debauchery  and  licentiousness." — Registers  nf 
Cowtcil,  11th  October  1546. 
10 


74  MONSIEUR   DE   PALAIS.  [1546. 

fied  by  the  lapse  of  time.     If  there  is  any  news,  provided  it  be 
certain,  let  us  immediately  know,  I  pray  you. 
[Laf.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Yol.  106.] 


CLXXY. — To  Monsieur  de  Falais. 

Recurrence  to  the  matrimonial  projects  of  Viret — explanations  on  various  subjects. 

From  Geneva,  this  ith  of  October  1546. 

MoxsEiGNEUR, — While  hour  after  hour  I  was  on  the  lookout 
for  James  on  his  return  from  Lyons,  to  reply  to  you  by  him,  I 
was  amazed  the  other  day  when  my  brother  told  me  that  he  had 
passed  through  without  speaking  with  me.  And  now  it  happens 
that  I  must  write  you  very  much  in  haste,  because  of  the  sud- 
den departure  of  the  bearer.  It  is  very  true  I  was  told  of  it 
yesterday,  but  it  was  at  eight  o'clock  at  night,  when  my  megrim 
troubled  me  so  severely,  that  it  was  with  great  pain  I  could 
open  my  mouth.  This  morning  I  thought  that  he  would  be 
gone  away,  until  at  the  end  of  the  sermon,  he  told  me  that  he 
would  wait  a  quarter  of  an  hour  to  oblige  me ;  wherefore,  I 
must  beg  of  you  to  excuse  the  brevity. 

As  to  the  affair  of  the  individual  for  whose  sake  I  have  made 
the  request,  he  has  replied  to  me,  thanking  you  very  humbly 
for  the  kind  affection  you  have  shewn  him ;  that  he  would 
desire  above  all  things  to  have  communication  with  the  party, 
fearing  lest,  from  the  want  of  a  mutual  understanding,  they 
might  not  assort  so  well  together  in  future.  Besides,  while 
these  troubles  last,  it  appeared  to  him  that  the  journey  could 
not  be  well  undertaken,  and  I  am  much  of  that  opinion  ;  for 
thereby  there  would  be  some  danger  of  a  long  protraction  of  the 
affair,  and  this  is  by  no  means  your  intention,  which  I  find  very 
reasonable.  As  for  the  rest,  there  is  no  sort  of  hindrance  arising 
from  health ;  but  I  find  this  to  be  an  annoyance,  that  a  matter, 
uncertain  at  any  rate,  should  be  kept  for  so  long  in  suspense, 
although  I  do  not  find  fault  with  his  request,  considering  the 
reasons  which  he  has  alleged  to  me  for  it,  that  it  is  necessary 


1546.]  MONSIEUR   DE   FALAIS.  75 

that  the  wife  he  shall  take  may  be  informed  beforehand  of 
some  domestic  charges  which  he  is  obliged  to  bear.  Besides, 
love  requires  previous  acquaintance,  and  the  household  affairs 
never  go  on  well  without  a  private  mutual  understanding,  and 
a  settlement  of  the  conditions  required  on  both  sides.  The 
mischief  is,  the  waiting  for  that  length  of  time ;  and  besides, 
I  do  not  see  any  great  object  to  be  gained  by  it.  I  pray  God 
that,  in  any  event,  he  would  well  order  it. 

About  the  book,'  it  strikes  me  that  I  have  told  you  enough 
already  of  what  occurred  to  me,  and  therefore  I  do  not  compre- 
hend wherefore  you  ask  my  opinion  anew,  unless  it  might  be 
to  shew  it  to  him.  Besides,  he  will  take  it  better,  methinks, 
if  it  may  please  you,  to  shew  him  the  passage  of  my  letter  on 
that  point,  the  more  that  I  speak  therein  more  freely,  not  know- 
ing the  author.  Nevertheless,  if  it  appears  to  you  that  there 
is  somewhat  more  to  be  said,  when  you  shall  please  to  inform 
me  of  it,  I  will  follow  your  advice. 

Furthermore,  Antony  Maillet  has  written  to  me,  that  he  had 
spoken  to  Peter  Telsen,  and  tells  me  that  the  twelve  crowns 
which  Master  Yalerand  has  disbursed,  are  to  be  refunded  to 
you,  although  I  need  not  be  in  very  much  haste  about  it, 
but  suit  my  own  convenience.  I  know  not  whether  he  has  done 
so  by  mistake,  but  if  he  has  still  twelve  crowns  to  pay,  Peter 
Telsen  must  have  laid  out  twice  as  much  as  he  ought ;  for  I 
have  sent  you  twelve  crowns  by  my  brother,  the  which  you  have 
told  me  you  had  received.  Notwithstanding,  if  Peter  Telsen 
have  failed  to  do  so,  I  would  not  that  you  should  be  the  loser, 
albeit  I  know  not  for  what  purpose  he  can  have  employed  the 
money  ;  but  as  to  that,  it  will  be  my  business  to  settle  with  him. 
Before  saying  a  word  about  it,  I  was  desirous  to  know  the  truth. 
I  pray  you,  then,  that  you  may  please  let  me  know  whether, 
besides  the  twelve  crowns  which  my  brother  returned  to  you, 
there  has  a  still  further  sum  of  like  amount  gone  out  of  your 
purse.  Seeing  that  they  have  roused  so  much  indignation 
down  there,  I  see  not  what  hinders  you  to  publish  your  Aiiology, 
and  it  seems  to  me  very  fit  that  you  do  so.    Nevertheless,  I  say 

'  M.  de  Falaia  had  sent  Calvin  a  theological  work  by  a  certain  Denis  de  la  Roche, 
requesting  his  opinion  of  it. 


76  MADAME   DE   FALAIS.  [1546. 

what  I  think  about  it  without  prejudice.  The  rest  remains 
still  in  the  pen,  for  the  bearer  has  not  given  me  a  long  enough 
time.  And  thus,  Monseigneur,  after  commending  me  humbly 
to  your  kind  favour  and  that  of  Madame,  I  pray  our  good 
Lord  to  have  you  always  in  his  keeping,  vouchsafing  you  grace 
in  suchwise  ever  to  walk,  that  he  may  be  ever  more  and  more 
glorified  in  you.  I  render  thanks  to  him  for  that  he  hath  set 
you  up  again,  but  I  beseech  of  him  to  increase  you  in  strength 
daily,  until  you  are  completely  restored.  My  wife  presents 
her  humble  commendations. 

Your  servant,  humble  brother,  and  entire  friend, 

John  Calvin. 

[Fr.  copy — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  194.] 


CLXXVI.— To  Madame  de  Falais. 

Sad  communication  to  be  made  to  M.  de  Falais — promise  to  send  several  discourses. 

From  Geneva,  this  19th  of  October  [1546.] 

Madame, — Forasmuch  as  you  informed  me  by  your  last, 
that  you  sent  me  therewith  the  letter  of  Monsieur  de  Fresne,  I 
feared  that  the  bearer  had  not  done  his  duty  in  taking  proper 
care  of  what  had  been  committed  to  him.  But  he  has  assured 
me  that  he  had  received  nothing  else  but  what  he  has  delivered 
to  me.  Wherefore,  I  guess  that  it  has  been  left  behind  by  ne- 
glect. I  believe  that  your  intention  in  sending  it  to  me,  was 
in  order  to  have  my  advice  how  to  inform  Monsieur  of  it.' 
Now,  as  he  must  be  made  aware  of  the  news,  I  could  have  no 
hesitation  in  opening  up  somewhat  of  the  business,  whenever 
he  shall  be  in  a  good  humour,  and  then  telling  him  all  about 
it.  Except  when  he  is  ailing,  he  is  not  a  man  that  lets  him- 
self be  overcome  by  sadness,  and  who  does  not  know  how  to 
make  a  profitable  improvement  of  the  grace  which  God  vouch- 
safes him  for  his  consolation. 

■  Allusion  to  the  death  of  one  of  the  sisters  of  M.  de  Falais,  which  they  had  not 
ventured  to  communicate  to  him. 


1546.]  MONSIEUR   DET  FALAIS.  77 

He  has  put  me  in  mind  that  you  were  complaining  lately  of 
Monsieur  enjoying  himself  all  alone  in  the  reading  of  my  Com- 
mentary.' You  request  me  also  to  have  some  thought  of  those 
who  only  understand  French,  that  they  also  may  partake,  and 
you  ask  for  my  sermons.  Well,  if  there  had  been  a  demand  for 
putting  them  forth,  I  would  indeed  have  set  about  it  in  good 
earnest ;  but  that  will  not  be  this  year.  However,  if  God 
bestow  grace  to  finish  the  Epistle  to  the  Galatians,  which  ought 
to  be  summary,  I  have  the  framework  of  something  of  a  treatise 
which  shall  speak  French  as  well  as  Latin,  that  may  prove 
somewhat  useful,  as  I  hope. 

After  having  affectionately  commended  me  to  your  kind 
favour,  and  presented  the  humble  salutations  of  my  wife,  I 
beseech  our  good  Lord  to  have  you  in  his  safeguard,  making 
you  more  and  more  serviceable  for  the  advancement  of  his 
kingdom. 

Your  servant  and  humble  brother, 

John  Calvin, 

[Fr.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  194.] 


CLXXYII. — To  Monsieur  de  Falais. 

Congratulations  on  his  convalescence — uncertainty  of  prospects  in  Germany — confi- 
dence in  the  all-powerful  protection  of  God. 

From  Geneva,  thia  \^th  of  October  1546. 

MoNSEiGNEUR,' — I  believe  that  you  have  received  my  last 
letter,  by  which  you  will  have  understood  that  yours  had  been 
delivered  by  Alexander,  but  somewhat  tardily.  I  give  thanks 
to  our  good  Lord  affectionately  for  the  news  which  Madame 
has  communicated  to  me  of  the  recovery  of  your  health.  I 
hope  that  it  may  please  Him,  who  has  begun  so  well,  that  in 
the  spring  you  will  feel  yourself  so  nimble  that  you  will  not 
know  how  to  restrain  your  merriment,  so  as  to  make  up  for 
past  time.  We  shall  look  for  that,  and  for  all  else,  as  it  shall 
please  him  of  his  infinite  goodness  to  allot,  having  good  ex- 

'  The  Commentary  on  the  First  Epistle  of  Saint  Paul  to  the  Corinthians,  dedicated 
to  M.  de  Falaia. 


78  MONSIEUR  DE   FALAIS.  [1546 

pectance  that  the  rage  which  the  Court  of  Malines  has  vented 
upon  you  will  pass  off  in  smoke.' 

I  believe  that  it  will  soon  be  time  to  sound  a  retreat  for  both 
camps.^  I  pray  God  so  to  direct  the  whole  that  the  upshot  may 
prove  for  the  advancement  of  his  own  honour.  I  am  better 
pleased  that  he  makes  war  upon  that  unhappy  tyrant  with 
his  own  hand,  than  otherwise.  For  if  we  were  to  attempt  any- 
thing of  importance,  I  should  always  fear  the  fatal  consequences 
of  the  presumption.  We  have  never  yet  heard  what  has  be- 
come of  that  harebrained  fellow,  the  Count  de  Buren,^  whether 
he  has  passed  on  with  his  army,  or  whether  he  has  been  driven 
back.  Howsoever  it  may  be,  it  is  not  the  multitude  nor  the  arm 
of  flesh  that  can  prevail. 

Master  Valerand  is  returning;  you  shall  know  better  from 
him  the  whole  state  of  your  affairs.  Howbeit,  I  see  no  other 
means,  unless  you  yield  somewhat  on  your  side,  until  God 
opens  up  a  better.  You  will  know  who  this  bearer  is,  and  his 
purpose  in  going  to  you.  Because  I  believed  his  determina- 
tion to  be  right,  I  have  not  desired  to  turn  him  back  from  it. 

To  conclude,  Monseigneur,  after  my  humble  commendation 
to  your  kind  favour,  I  shall  pray  our  good  Lord  to  have  ever 
his  hand  stretched  out  to  guide  you  by  his  grace. 

Your  servant,  humble  brother  and  entire  friend, 

John  Calvin. 

My  wife  also  entreats  to  be  always  humbly  commended  to 
your  kind  favour. 

\Fr.  orig.  antogr. — Library  of  Geneva.     Vol.  194.] 

'  The  confiscation  of  the  property  of  M.  de  Falais  had  been  pronounced  by  the 
Court  of  Malines.  That  decree  had  been  submitted  to  the  confirmation  of  the 
Emperor. 

'  The  sentence  which  put  the  Elector  of  Saxony  and  the  Landgrave  of  Hesse  to  the 
ban  of  the  Empire,  20th  July  1546,  was  the  signal  for  war  in  Germany.  The  Imperial 
army,  and  that  of  the  Protestant  Princes,  observed  one  another  for  several  months,  on 
the  banks  of  the  Danube,  without  the  one  being  able  to  obtain  any  decisive  advantage 
over  the  other.  But  the  troops  of  Charles  the  Fifth  were  decimated  by  want  and  sick- 
ness while  there  was  an  overabundance  in  the  camp  of  the  confederates. 

*  Maximilian  d'Egmont,  Count  de  Buren,  a  valiant  and  adventurous  captain.  He 
brought  a  powerful  reinforcement  to  Charles  the  Fifth  from  the  Netherlands,  and  ho 
executed  that  difficult  operation  with  the  most  happy  success. 


1546.]  MONSIEUR   DE   FALAIS.  79 


CLXXYIII.— To  Monsieur  de  Falais. 

Excuses  for  Viret — uses  of  sickness — various  rumours  concertiing  the  war  in  Ger- 
many— explanations  on  the  subject  of  the  Supper. 

From  Geneva,  this  \&th  of  November  1516. 

MoNSElGNEUR, — Although  I  was  expecting  a  letter  from  you 
from  day  to  day,  I  could  not  let  this  messenger  go  away  without 
writing,  to  make  some  reply  to  your  last.  I  shall  begin  upon 
the  subject  of  the  little  book  which  you  sent  me.  Having 
read  my  answer,  and  the  opinion  I  had  of  it,  you  have  men- 
tioned to  me  the  name  of  the  author;  and  because  he  is  some- 
what opinionative,  you  request  me  to  let  you  know  my  mind 
about  it,  in  order  that  you  may  tell  him  on  his  return  the 
opinion  you  have  formed.  Your  words  are  these,  "  The  author 
is  Denis  de  la  Eoche,  who  has  requested  of  me  that  I  would 
send  it  you  privately.  In  consequence  of  this  I  feel  puzzled 
how  to  set  about  finding  fault,  for  I  fear  he  will  suspect  that 
the  criticism  comes  from  you,  and  he  is  a  little  proud,  and 
withal  tenacious  of  his  own  views.  Inasmuch  as  you  have 
known  him  longer  than  I,  write  me  your  advice,  so  that  upon 
his  return  I  may  be  able  to  tell  him  the  judgment  which  I 
have  come  to,  when  he  shall  ask  me  for  it." 

You  must  hold  me  excused  in  this  matter.  I  know  not  how 
to  proceed  therein,  since  I  have  already  shortly  stated  to  you 
my  opinion  in  regard  to  it.  If  you  ask  me  for  a  lengthened 
discussion,  I  could  not  do  it  so  well  as  when  it  was  fresh  in  my 
recollection ;  and  indeed  I  have  doubtless  forgotten  part  of 
what  I  formerly  wrote.  What  made  me  doubtful  as  to  your 
drift,  was  that  it  seemed  to  me  you  were  asking  me  to  do  over 
again  what  I  had  already  done.  And  even  now  I  do  not  com- 
prehend wherefore  you  would  have  a  new  declaration  of  my 
opinion,  unless  you  were  dissatisfied  with  the  first.  It  would 
be  very  difficult  for  me  to  discuss  in  detail  the  things  which 
have  escaped  me.  For  I  have  retained  but  a  confused  idea  of 
the  general  argument,  and  of  some  points  here  and  there. 
As  concerns  the  marriage  in  reference  to  which  I  have  put  you 


80  MONSIEUR  DE   FALAIS.  [1546. 

in  requisition/  I  beseech  you,  Monseigneur,  to  "believe  what  I 
shall  tell  you,  for  I  shall  recount  the  pure  truth  without  any 
dissimulation  whatever.  The  reason  which  induced  me  to  write 
you  about  it  was,  that  a  party  had  been  proposed  here  who 
was  no  wise  suitable  for  him.  But  on  account  of  the  forwardness 
of  some  of  those  who  had  meddled  in  the  affair,  we  had  very 
great  difficulty  in  getting  the  proposal  set  aside.  And  so,  to 
break  the  blow,  it  was  my  earnest  desire  to  have  found  some 
one  in  another  quarter ;  for  there  would  have  been  less  envy 
and  jealousy  had  he  taken  one  from  a  distance,  as  we  have 
already  had  ample  experience  in  the  murmurs  which  some  have 
made  when  we  would  not  follow  their  leading-string.  I  assure 
you,  however,  that  he  has  not  been  making  indirect  application 
elsewhere.  But  without  reference  either  to  her  whom  you  kindly 
named  in  your  reply,  nor  yet  to  any  other,  I  have  thought  it 
advisable,  under  the  circumstances  of  the  case,  to  recommend 
the  man  to  you.  Then  you  know  the  first  letter  loitered  long 
upon  the  way,  before  we  had  any  news  from  you,  which  was 
the  occasion  of  my  writing  again,  and  that  at  his  own  instance, 
although  I  did  not  comprehend  very  clearly  why.  For  in  the 
meantime,  from  what  I  have  since  learnt,  he  had  a  proposition 
from  another  quarter.  Nevertheless,  after  receiving  tidings 
from  you,  I  communicated  with  himself,  and  the  result  was 
such  as  I  have  told  you,  without  feigned  civility  or  double- 
dealing.  Since  then,  I  have  understood  that  the  proposal  about 
a  widow  was  still  under  consideration,  although  to  this  hour  I 
know  not  how  it  stands.  And  so  far  was  I  from  meddling, 
that  knowing  in  this  town  of  a  widow  as  well  endowed  as  I 
could  have  wished  for  myself  if  God  had  so  far  afflicted  me  as 
to  have  deprived  me  of  my  helpmate,^  and  that  there  was  a  ne- 
cessity for  my  marrying  again  ;  on  considering  the  other  pro- 
posals which  were  under  consideration,  I  have  not  felt  inclined 
to  bring  forward  her  name.  And  notwithstanding,  I  have  no 
doubt  whatever  that  it  would  prove  an  admirable  match  for  him. 

'  For  Peter  Viret.     See  preceding  letters  to  M.  de  Falais,  pp.  63  and  74. 

"  Calvin  lost  his  wife,  Idelette  de  Bure,  in  the  beginning  of  April  1549,  and  never 
married  again.  His  Latin  correspondence  contains  two  beautiful  and  touching  letters 
to  Viret  and  to  Farel  (7th  and  11th  April)  on  that  sad  event.  They  will  be  found  re- 
printed in  this  collection. 


1546.]  MONSIEUR   DE   FALAIS.  81 

But  all  the  more  that  I  refrained  from  active  friendly  inter- 
ference, it  was  sufficient  for  me  to  commit  him  to  God,  and 
to  let  the  stream  find  its  own  channel.  You  see  how  I  have 
thanked  you  without  hypocrisy,  now  that  I  have  set  before  you 
the  difficulties  that  I  have  had  here.  And  I  do  not  think  that 
there  was  any  want  of  honesty  in  the  man  for  whom  I  spoke ; 
indeed  I  might  venture  to  assure  you  of  it.  But  purposes 
change  in  a  few  hours.  Seeing  the  present  position  of  matters, 
I  did  not  like  to  communicate  to  him  anything  of  what  was 
contained  in  your  letter.  I  shall  not  trouble  you  with  long 
excuses ;  and  besides,  it  is  well  that  the  thing  has  not  taken 
wind.  Wherefore,  if  you  think  fit,  consider  the  whole  matter 
as  if  it  had  never  been  mooted.  Meanwhile,  your  goodwill 
toward  me  must  not  be  buried  out  of  mind,  nor  toward  the 
man  who  is  principally  concerned  in  the  affair.  For  I  assure 
you  that  he  was  truly  grateful  for  your  interference,  and  I 
know  that  he  has  it  imprinted  on  his  heart,  although  it  was 
attended  with  no  result. 

With  regard  to  the  money  which  has  been  laid  out  on  ac- 
count of  our  child,  that  you  may  not  be  further  troubled  about  it, 
Antony  Maillet  will  settle  the  amount.  And  now,  please  God,  I 
shall  do  my  duty,  thanking  you  most  affectionately  that  you  have 
been  pleased  to  have  patience  until  the  settlement  could  be  made. 

Since  the  Apology  has  not  yet  gone  forth,  it  is  very  desirable 
to  have  the  news  which  Master  Valeran '  may  bring  along  with 
him.  And,  indeed,  over  and  above  the  circumstance  which 
has  befallen  in  your  particular  case,  the  general  declaration 
which  the  man  has  made  against  the  whole  cause,  well  deserves 
that  the  style  should  be  altered,  and  that  some  additions  be 
interwoven.  And  seeing  that  God  has  allowed  you  to  wait  so 
long,  he  will  so  end  all  as  to  instruct  you  the  more  certainly. 

Although  I  have  indeed  heard  of  a  man  having  been  seized 
at  Berne  for  poisoning  and  fire-raising,  nevertheless,  I  have  so 
little  correspondence  in  that  quarter,  that  I  have  heard  nothing 
of  it  but  upon  common  report.  On  which  account  I  did  not  care 
to  say  much  to  you  about  it.     If  it  be  really  so  as  has  been  re- 

•  Valeran  Poulain,  of  Lille,  who  was  at  a  later  period  minister  of  the  French  Church 
at  Frankfort 
11 


82  MONSIEUR   DE   FALAIS.  [1546. 

lated  to  you,  I  must  acknowledge  that  it  is  a  good  thing  that 
God  is  more  concerned  about  my  life  than  are  my  neighbours. 

Although  your  weakness  may  be  protracted,  it  is  much  that 
you  go  on  steadily,  though  by  slow  degrees,  in  the  way  of 
amendment.  And  when  I  consider  the  complaint,  I  feel  that 
there  is  still  greater  reason  to  be  well  content.  Notwithstand- 
ing, we  shall  not  give  over  praying  to  God  that  it  would  please 
him  to  confirm  you  entirely,  with  thanksgiving  that  he  has 
brought  you  back  from  the  brink  of  the  grave.  Besides,  I 
hope,  from  present  appearances,  that  he  is  minded  yet  to  make 
use  of  you  in  health,  since  he  has  employed  you  in  sickness. 
For  although  laid  powerless  upon  a  bed,  we  are  by  no  means 
useless  to  him,  if  we  testify  our  obedience  by  resigning  our- 
selves to  his  good  pleasure, — if  we  give  proof  of  our  faith  by 
resisting  temptation, — if  we  take  advantage  of  the  consolation 
•which  he  gives  us  in  order  to  overcome  the  troubles  of  the 
flesh.  It  is  in  sickness,  especially  when  prolonged,  that  patience 
is  most  needful ;  but  most  of  all  in  death.  Nevertheless,  as  I 
have  said,  I  confide  in  this  good  God,  that  after  having  exer- 
cised you  by  sickness  he  will  still  employ  your  health  to  some 
good  purpose.  Meanwhile,  we  must  beseech  him  that  he 
would  uphold  us  in  steadfast  courage,  never  permitting  us  to 
fall  away  because  of  lengthened  on-waiting. 

Howsoever  doubtful  the  retreat  of  Eenard^  may  be,  it  is 
nevertheless  no  small  matter,  that  instead  of  reaching  the 
point  aimed  at,  which  would  have  been  his  great  advantage,  he 
has  made  a  crablike  movement  backwards.  And  from  what 
we  have  heard,  he  has  left  behind  the  marks  of  the  persecution 
of  God's  hand.  I  am  much  better  pleased  that  God  should  cut 
off  his  finger  than  we  his  arm.  Not  that  that  is  not  still  God's 
work,  which  he  performs  by  us,  but  I  always  fear  so  much  the 
effect  of  glory,  that  I  rejoice  the  more  when  it  is  plainly  the 
doing  of  the  Lord.  And  the  unhappy  man  has  likewise  still 
greater  occasion  to  feel  uneasiness  at  heart.  Whatever  may 
come  of  it,  I  think  that  I  have  only  spoken  the  truth,  after  the 
news  of  his  departure,  in  writing  what  follows : — Whither  is 
he  going?     Whither  is  he  gone  ?     What  will  become  of  that 

'  The  Emperor  Charles  V.     See  note  2,  p.  78. 


1546.]  MONSIEUR   DE   FALAIS.  83 

wicked  man? — By  thus  driving  him  away,  God  has  at  least 
lowered  his  pride. 

A  report  is  afloat,  which  troubles  and  plagues  more  than 
it  astonishes  me.  It  is  that  Maurice  has  entered  into  an  under- 
standing with  him  to  ruin  his  own  cousin  and  his  father-in-law, 
and  in  the  end  to  ruin  himself;'  for  Satan  must  assuredly  have 
got  entire  possession  of  him.  We  shall  await,  however,  whatso- 
ever shall  please  God,  prepared  to  accept  all  that  shall  please  him. 

Concerning  the  advice  which  you  require  of  me,  whether  it 
were  expedient  to  refresh  the  memory  of  the  ambassadors:  before 
I  had  an  opportunity  of  writingto  you,  the  time  to  do  so  had  gone 
by ;  I  therefore  rather  held  my  peace,  not  so  much  from  forget- 
fulness  as  from  this  consideration:  Ne pluvia post  messem. 

There  is  one  point,  however,  that  I  think  I  have  forgotten, 
namely,  the  complaint  they  make,  that  it  appears  I  would 
shut  up  the  body  in  the  bread  alone.  I  know  not  where  they 
have  dreamed  that  dream.  In  several  treatises  I  speak  of  that 
matter,  but  chiefly  in  the  Institution^  in  the  Catechism,  in  the 
Commentary  on  Corinthians,  and  in  the  manner  of  administra- 
tion of  the  Lord's  Supper.  In  the  Supplication  I  have  only 
touched  upon  it  very  lightly.  Besides  that,  I  have  written  a 
little  book  upon  the  subject,  in  which  I  believe  a  reader  of  sound 
judgment  will  meet  with  nothing  to  find  fault  with.  But  here 
is  their  mistake:  many  think  that  we  make  no  distinction  be- 
tween the  sign  and  the  truth  signified,  unless  we  separate  them 
entirely,  to  make  God  like  a  mountebank,  who  exhibits  delusive 
representations  by  sleight  of  hand.  It  is  our  duty,  however,  to 
proclaim,  that  this  comes  by  the  craft  of  Satan,  who  only  seeks 
to  bewilder  the  understanding,  that  he  may  render  our  labours 
of  no  avail.  Let  us  therefore  pray  to  God  that  he  would  bestow 
increase  by  his  grace,  so  that  our  labour  may  not  be  in  vain. 
Such  examples  ought  to  incite  us  thereto,  and  likewise  to  ad- 
monish us,  not  to  think  that  we  have  done  some  great  thing 
by  merely  having  written. 

'  Maurice  of  Saxony,  cousin  of  the  Elector  John  Frederic,  and  son-in-law  of  the 
Landgrave  of  Hesse,  unworthily  betraying  the  cause  of  the  Confederates,  concluded  a 
secret  treaty  with  the  emperor,  to  whom  he  took  the  oath  of  fidelity,  and  who  guaran- 
tied to  bim  in  return  the  spoils  of  bis  father-in-law. 


84  MONSIEUR  DE   FALAIS.  [1546 

Monsieur,  having  presented  the  humble  commendations  of 
myself,  as  well  as  of  my  wife,  to  your  kind  favour,  and  also 
that  of  Madame,  I  pray  our  good  Lord,  that  it  would  please 
him  ever  to  preserve  you  in  his  holy  protection,  strengthening 
you  in  all  might  by  his  Spirit,  making  his  glory  to  shine  forth 
in  you  ever  more  and  more. 

I  beg  to  be  excused  for  faults,  for  I  have  not  been  able  to 
revise  the  present  letter,  being  engrossed  by  headache  with 
which  I  have  been  seized.  Our  friend  and  brother,  Des  Gallars,' 
also  humbly  commends  himself  to  you,  and  sends  you  a  distich 
which  he  has  composed  upon  Renard.  We  greatly  desire  to 
have  some  news.  If  the  war  did  not  give  holiday  to  the  print- 
ing-presses, I  would  have  sent  Yendelin  the  Oalatians ;  but 
since  the  Corinthians  lie  quiet  in  his  desk,  there  is  no  need  for 
my  being  in  any  hurry. 

\Fr.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Yol.  194.] 

CLXXIX. — To  Monsieur  de  Falais. 

Consolations  on  the  death  of  his  sister. 

From  Geneva,  this  20th  of  November  1546. 

Monseigneur, — The  day  before  Camus  arrived,  I  had  written 
to  you,  as  well  as  to  others,  by  a  young  tailor  of  Picardy;  but 
because  I  was  not  certain  whether  they  had  as  yet  informed 
you  of  the  death  of  Madame  your  sister,'^  I  did  not  venture  to 
mention  it.  Now  I  have  rejoiced,  and  have  thanked  God 
with  my  whole  heart,  perceiving  by  the  letter  of  Madame  that 
you  had  at  once  taken  your  stand  upon  the  point  whereon  I 
would  have  founded  my  principal  argument,  if  I  had  wished  to 
console  you.  And,  indeed,  you  have  much  occasion  for  grati- 
tude on  account  of  the  grace  which  God  has  vouchsafed  to  her, 
and  to  you  also.     For  seeing  that  her  husband  had  waxed  so 

'  Nicolas  des  Gallars,  of  Paris,  (M.  de  Saules,)  the  friend  and  secretary  of  Calvin,  and 
one  of  the  most  distinguished  ministers  of  Geneva.  He  was  sent  as  pastor  to  the 
Church  at  Paris  in  1557,  reappointed  in  1560  to  the  French  Church  of  London,  assisted 
the  following  year  at  the  conference  at  Poissy,  was  named  minister  of  the  Church  of 
Orleans,  and  became,  in  1571,  preacher  to  the  Queen  of  Navarre.  We  have  several 
of  his  works  mentioned  by  Senebier,  Hist.  Litt.,  torn  i.  p.  341. 

"  Helene  de  Falais.     She  had  married  Adrien  de  L'Isle,  Seigneur  de  Trenoy. 


1546.]  MADAME   DE   FALAIS.  85 

cold,  the  good  lady  would  have  been  in  an  unhappy  captivity 
had  she  remained  longer  in  the  world,  and  would  only  have 
languished  her  life  away.  On  your  part,  you  would  not  have 
had  it  in  your  power  to  lend  her  a  helping  hand,  nor  to  solace 
her  sorrows ;  and  so  you  never  could  have  thought  of  her  with- 
out regret  and  vexation.  God,  therefore,  has  had  pity  upon  you 
and  her,  in  thus  providing,  and  above  all,  in  preventing  the 
dangers  into  which  she  might  have  fallen  in  a  long  career,  by 
reason  of  the  frailty  which  is  in  us.  And  we  have  yet  a  better 
ground  of  further  consolation,  that  it  will  not  be  long  ere  we 
find  ourselves  together  again.  Meanwhile,  let  us  think  of  pre- 
paring ourselves  to  follow  her,  for  the  time  will  soon  come.  But 

,  I  like  much  better  to  congratulate  you,  seeing  that  our  Lord  has 
already  put  these  things  in  your  heart,  than  to  labour  in  recall- 
ing them  to  your  memory.  The  other  news  which  Camus  has 
told  me  about  you,  has  also  cheered  me  to  await  the  time  when 
God  will  bring  to  pass  what  he  has  put  into  so  good  a  train. 

Monseigneur,  after  humble  commendations  to  your  kind 
favour,  and  having  presented  the  humble  remembrances  of  my 
wife,  I  pray  our  good  Lord  to  have  you  ever  in  his  safeguard, 
to  strengthen  you  in  body  and  in  spirit,  so  as  always  to  make 

you  more  abound  in  his  service. 

Your  humble  servant  and  bounden  friend, 

John  Calvin, 

I  assure  you  that  you  make  me  desire  the  arrival  of  the 
spring-time  more  than  I  would  otherwise  have  done.  Our 
brother  Des  Gallars  commends  himself  also  very  humbly  to 
your  kind  favour. 

[Fi:  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geiieva.    Vol.  194.] 


CLXXX. — To  Madame  de  Falais. 

Assurances  of  affection  for  herself  and  her  husband. 

From  Geneva,  this  20th  of  November  1546. 

Madame, — Having  been  made  aware  that  Monseigneur  had 
been  informed  of  the  death  of  his  sister,  I  have  only  given  him 


86  viRET.  [1546. 

one  Avord  on  the  subject,  knowing  beforehand  from  yourself 
that  he  has  no  need  of  long  consolation,  seeing  that  God,  with- 
out human  means,  has  put  into  his  heart  that  which  cannot 
fail  to  alleviate  his  sadness. 

As  for  my  promise,  to  which  you  hold  me  bound,  I  shall  dis- 
charge myself  of  it,  when  God  shall  have  vouchsafed  me  the 
means  wherewith  to  do  so.  But  I  am  astonished  that  you 
should  even  hint  at  the  reward  which  my  said  Lord  intends  for 
me,  as  if  I  were  looking  to  that,  and  had  not  other  considera- 
tions in  the  discharge  of  my  duty  to  him.  The  love  and  re- 
verence which  I  may  well  bear  toward  him  in  our  Lord  are 
so  strong,  that  I  am  very  sorry  that  I  cannot  devote  myself 
more  to  his  and  your  service,  to  shew  what  is  in  my  heart. 
Howbeit,  I  beseech  you  not  to  take  amiss  what  I  have  now 
said,  for  I  have  had  no  other  feeling  than  the  fear  that  you 
may  not  place  such  reliance  upon  me  as  I  desire.  Besides,  I 
do  not  mean  to  make  any  complaint  which  deserves  a  reply  ; 
for  it  is  quite  enough  for  me  that  you  have  neither  entertained 
a  doubt  nor  a  suspicion  which  has  induced  you  to  mention  it. 

Now  therefore  I  shall  make  an  end,  after  having  humbly- 
commended  me  to  your  kind  favour.  I  pray  our  good  Lord 
to  have  you  always  in  his  holy  protection,  guiding  and  govern- 
ing you  after  his  own  good  will,  so  as  to  glorify  his  holy  name 
in  you. 

Your  humble  servant  and  good  brother  for  ever, 

John  Calvin. 

[Fr.  orig.  autogi: — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  194.] 


CLXXXI.— To  ViRET. 

Statement  of  the  expense  of  a  visit  to  Lausanne,  on  the  occasion  of  Viret's  marriage 
— eeclesiastical  difficulties  at  Berne. 

Geneva,  M  Dec  1546. 

Two  letters  of  Bucer  were  delivered  to  me  after  a  short  in- 
terval. I  send  both  of  them  to  you,  although  they  may  contain 
almost  nothing  which  you  have  not  learned  from  other  sources. 
"With  regard  to  the  King  of  France,  I  think  that  he  will  shortly 


1546.]  viRET.  87 

be  brought  to  give  some  assistance  with  money  to  our  party — 
the  only  thing  that  is  sought  from  him.  It  is,  moreover,  in 
the  highest  degree,  his  interest  to  distract  the  attention  of 
Charles  by  another  war.'  I  have  enjoined  Peter  Textor  to  pay 
to  you  sixteen  crowns;  for  although  I  had  ten  with  me  when 
I  came  to  the  marriage,  it  escaped  my  memory.  But  here  is  a 
greater  lapse  of  memory;  when  I  had  found  them  laid  aside  in 
my  desk,  I  stood  still  for  some  time,  not  knowing  whether  I  had 
ever  seen  them  before.  Raymond  came  upon  me,  who  reminded 
me  of  the  fact,  that  he  had  given  them  to  me  by  order  of 
Antony  Maillet.  You  will  therefore  add  this  sum  to  the  former. 
In  the  other  six  [crowns,]  I  am  afraid  that  I  have  made  a  mis- 
take; for  they  may  possibly  belong  to  my  brother.  For  as  a 
teacher  of  Orleans  was  in  his  debt,  he  arranged  that  payment 
should  be  made  by  the  son  of  Bruno.  He  had  lately  received 
five  [crowns.]  You  will  therefore  retain  these  until  I  shall 
have  learned  with  certainty  from  Saint  Andr^,  whether  they 
ought  to  be  given  to  you  or  to  my  brother. 

Sulzer  lately  wrote  to  me  that  matters  had  reached  an  ex- 
tremity.^ lie  implores  our  aid.  I  consulted  with  the  brethren. 
As  we  could  discover  no  plan  of  procedure  in  circumstances  so 
perplexed,  and  almost  desperate,  I  repaired  to  Nyon.  I  became 
aware  that  they  had  committed  much  more  grievous  errors 
than  the  letters  contain  any  mention  of.  They  are  not,  in  my 
opinion,  fighting  for  a  cause  that  is  good  in  every  respect.  All 
see  that  their  proceedings  are  preposterous;  and  yet  when  we 
also  see  that  everything  is  going  to  ruin,  with  what  conscience 
shall  we  be  silent?  I  asked  Nicolas,^  whether  he  thought 
that  a  letter  from  us  would  be  of  any  service?     He  gave  a 

'  This  diversion,  dictated  to  the  King  of  France  by  sound  politics,  was  not  effected, 
and  Francis  I.  remained  a  peaceable  spectator  of  events,  whoso  necessary  tendency 
wns  to  secure,  by  the  defeat  of  the  Protestant  party  in  Germany,  the  ascendency  of 
Charles  V.  in  Europe. 

"  The  ministers  of  Berne  were  divided  by  incessant  disputes  on  the  subject  of  the 
Supper.  Sulzer  and  certain  of  his  colleagues  inclined  to  the  Lutheran  view,  which 
Erasme  Ritter  combated  ;  and  by  an  abuse  of  power,  that  was  not  uncommon  at  that 
period,  the  Seigneury  of  Berne  claimed  to  determine  by  itself  the  sense  of  the  con- 
troverted dogma,  the  settlement  of  which  ought  to  have  been  remitted  to  a  Synod. — 
Ruchat,  torn.  v.  pp.  225,  226. 

'  The  senator,  Nicolas  de  Zerkinden,  friend  of  Calvin  and  prefect  of  Nyon, 


88  MONSIEUR  DE   FALAIS.  [1546. 

trembling  aud  hesitating  consent  to  our  writing.  Should  a 
messenger  present  himself  in  good  time,  I  wish  that  you  also 
would  intimate  your  opinion;  thereafter  consider  whether  it 
be  not  time  to  press  for  obtaining  a  Synod. 

Adieu,  brother,  and  most  sincere  friend,  along  with  your 
wife,  whom  you  will  respectfully  salute  in  the  name  of  all  ours, 
as  well  as  James  and  the  rest. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Yol.  106.] 


CLXXXII. — To  Monsieur  de  Falais. 

Military  movements  in  Switzerland — policy  of  the  Cantons  in  reference  to  the  Emperor. 

Fkom  Geneva,  this  8th  of  December  1546. 

MoNSEiGNEUR, — I  have  nothing  to  write  you  at  present, 
except  that  we  are  waiting  to  see  what  will  be  done  by  the 
Swiss.'  All  is  in  readiness  at  Berne  as  if  to  start  at  any 
moment,  the  captain,  his  council,  officers,  soldiers,  chosen  and 
commissioned;  a  second  order  sent,  to  be  ready  to  march,  with 
artillery  and  baggage.  Their  army  consists  of  ten  thousand 
men.  I  believe  they  would  not  have  delayed  so  long,  if  there 
had  not  been  an  impediment  which  holds  them  as  it  were  tied 
by  the  leg.  For  it  is  now  about  a  year  since  all  the  cantons 
agreed  that  none  should  leave  the  country  to  engage  in  war, 
without  the  consent  of  the  rest.  Now  there  is  fear  that  the 
Papists  may  be  urged  to  invade  the  country  while  it  is  depo- 
pulated, under  colour  of  breach  of  treaty ;  which  if  the  King 
of  France  had  only  thrown  in  a  word,  would  have  happened  a 
long  time  ago, — namely,  had  he  called  the  Papists  to  enter  his 

'  The  Roman  Catholic  and  Reformed  Cantons,  solicited,  the  former  by  the  emperor, 
the  latter  by  the  Protestant  princes,  to  take  part  in  the  struggles  of  which  Germany 
was  the  theatre,  had  both  observed  a  strict  neutrality.  But  the  Seigneury  of  Berne 
having  received  information  that  military  movements  were  taking  place  in  Franche- 
Comte,  then  under  the  rule  of  the  Spaniards,  summoned  ten  thousand  men  to  arms, 
and  occupied  the  passes  of  the  Jura.  That  measure,  which  arose  out  of  the  pressuro 
of  circumstances,  would  perhaps  have  brought  about  a  division  among  the  confederates, 
aud  serious  complications  from  without,  if  the  treachery  of  the  Elector  Maurice  had 
not  hastened  on  the  course  of  events  in  Germany. — John  de  Miiller,  Mist,  de  la  Con- 
fidiration  Suisne,  continuation  of  M.  Vulliemin,  torn.  xi.  p.  292. 


1546.]  MONSIEUR    DE   FALAIS.  89 

service,  which  ours  would  have  readily  agreed  to  do.  Thus 
would  the  one  side  have  spoken  German  to  Charles,  the  others 
Italian  or  Picard. 

I  fear  indeed  that  there  must  be  a  want  of  good  management 
as  well  in  that  as  in  other  things.  Thereby  are  we  so  much  the 
more  admonished  to  pray  God  that  he  by  his  infinite  good- 
ness would  be  pleased  to  supply  so  many  shortcomings.  True 
it  is,  that  the  ignorant  are  apt  to  judge  foolishly.  But  however 
that  may  be,  every  one  is  amazed  that  they  are  so  long 

,'  without  putting  forth  an  effort.  For  it  looks  as  if 
God  were  holding  out  the  hand  to  us,  as  much  as  to  say — enter 
in.  And  in  letting  the  time  slip  by,  we  only  invigorate  kirn 
who  is  already  almost  desperate.  Let  us  pray,  therefore,  and 
seeing  that  it  pleases  God  to  make  trial  of  our  patience  for  our 
good,  let  us  be  content  with  what  he  sends  us,  never  growing 
weary  of  serving  him,  on  any  account  whatsoever. 

There  has  been  murmuring  of  late  on  account  of  some  ap- 
pointment. They  would  indeed  need  wondrous  masons  to 
complete  the  building.  But  I  fear  that  our  people,  or  some  of 
them  at  least,  may  let  themselves  be  so  far  led  away  as  to  en- 
tertain the  proposals,  which  would  be  to  replace  the  enemy, 
not  only  in  the  exercise  of  his  former  tyrannous  sway,  but  even 
of  that  to  which  he  has  always  aspired.  Yet,  inasmuch  as  I 
feel  assured  that  it  will  not  so  happen  unless  God  shall  be  alto- 
gether exasperated  against  us,  I  trust  that  he  will  avert  so 
great  a  danger.  For  I  have  no  doubt  that  he  looks  rather 
upon  his  own  work  in  us,  than  upon  our  sins  and  shortcom- 
ings, that  he  may  have  pity  on  us. 

And  now,  Monseigneur,  having  humbly  commended  me  to 
your  good  favour,  and  that  of  Madame ;  having  also  presented 
the  commendations  of  my  wife,  and  of  our  neighbours,  I  pray 
God  of  his  goodness  to  keep  you  always  in  his  protection,  and 
to  make  you  feel  more  and  more  the  joy  of  his  help. 

Your  servant  and  humble  brother  and  ever  bounden  friend, 

John  Calvin. 

[Fr.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.     Vol.  194.] 
'  A  word  effaced  in  the  original. 

12 


90  •       MADAME   DE   BUDE.  [1546. 


CLXXXIIL— To  Madame  de  Bude.^ 

Calvin  exhorts  this  lady  to  leave  France,  and  retire  with  her  family  to  Geneva. 

This  20th  ....  1546.' 

Madame, — Howbeit  that  I  have  occasion  to  praise  God  for 
the  great  zeal  and  constancy  he  has  vouchsafed  to  you,  as  I 
have  heard  from  the  bearer,  yet,  believing  that  my  exhortation 
might  not  be  superfluous  to  you,  in  the  midst  of  such  diversified 
trials  and  conflicts,  I  was  unwilling  to  forego  writing  you  some 
words  by  him,  and,  above  all,  to  help  you  to  come  to  a  deter- 
mination upon  the  point  on  which  you  are  still  somewhat 
doubtful ;  that  is,  as  to  your  retiring  hitherward  that  you  may 
serve  God  in  peace  of  conscience.  Were  it  possible  for  you  to 
discharge  your  duty  where  you  are,  I  would  by  no  means  advise 
you  to  stir.  But  I  am  well  aware  in  what  captivity  you  are 
held.  If  God  had  given  you  strength  and  constancy  to  prepare 
for  death,  and  not  to  flinch  for  any  fear  of  the  danger  wherein 
you  are,  there  would  be  nothing  better  than  to  keep  that  grace  in 
exercise.  But  if  you  feel  that  the  weakness  of  the  flesh  gets 
the  mastery,  and  hinders  you  from  doing  your  duty,  seeing  that 

'  The  original  letter  is  without  address.  But  it  is  generally  believed  that  it  was 
addressed  by  Calvin  to  the  widow  of  the  celebrated  William  Bude,  great-grandson  of 
the  secretary  to  King  Charles  V.,  and  one  of  the  most  learned  personages  of  the  period 
of  the  revival  of  letters.  William  Bude  having  declared  in  his  will  that  he  wished  to  be 
buried  without  ceremony,  this  circumstance  led  to  the  supposition  that  he  had  died 
in  the  faith  of  the  Reformed.  His  widow  not  being  able  to  make  free  profession  of  her 
faith  at  Paris,  was  about  to  settle  at  Geneva,  on  the  solicitation  of  Calvin,  (June  1549.) 
She  was  accompanied  by  her  daughter  and  three  of  her  sons,  Louis,  Francis,  and  John 
de  Bude,  who  held  a  distinguished  rank  in  the  republic.  The  best  known  of  the  three 
brothers  is  John  de  Bude,  Sieur  de  Verace,  the  particular  friend  of  Calvin  and  of  Theo- 
dore  de  Beze.  He  was  received  an  inhabitant  of  Geneva  the  27th  June  1549,  burgess 
the  2d  May  1555,  member  of  both  Councils  in  1559,  fulfilled  several  important  mis- 
sions to  the  Protestant  princes  of  Germany,  and  died  in  1589,  after  having  rendered 
distinguished  services  to  his  new  country,  and  thereby  added  fresh  lustre  to  his  family, 
whose  descendants  still  live  at  Geneva. — Galiffe,  Notices  Ginialogiques  des  Famillea 
Genevoises,  tom.  iii.  p.  83,  et  aeq. 

"  Oh  the  back,  in  another  handwriting,—"  Of  46.  I  think  that  this  letter  must  be 
to  Madame  Bude." 


1546.]  MADAME   DE   BUDE.  91 

your  conscience  must  needs  be  troubled  and  in  continual  tor- 
ment, the  only  way  is  to  seek  a  suitable  remedy.  For  it  is  no 
slight  perplexity,  yea,  even  agony,  to  feel  ourselves  blamable 
in  a  matter  of  so  great  moment ;  yea,  and  that  the  evil  con- 
tinues to  such  an  extent,  that  we  can  make  no  end  of  offend- 
ing God.  Although  many  deceive  themselves  in  this  matter, 
making  themselves  believe  that  it  is  but  a  trifling  fault  to  defile 
themselves  with  superstitions  which  are  repugnant  to  the  word 
of  God,  and  derogate  from  his  honour,  I  reckon  that  his  hon- 
our, to  whom  we  owe  everything,  is  so  precious  to  you,  that 
it  is  felt  to  be  a  subject  of  intolerable  regret  to  you  to  offend 
against  it  daily,  as  you  are  constrained  to  do  at  present.  I  do 
not  doubt,  therefore,  but  that  you  have  a  special  desire  to 
escape  out  of  such  wretchedness,  and  that  until  you  do,  you 
cannot  but  be  in  very  great  anxiety  and  sadness.  Consider, 
now,  whether  this  is  not  an  unhappy  condition,  thus  to  linger 
for  ever.  I  know,  indeed,  that  there  are  many  who  reply  to 
us,  that  we  here  are  no  more  angels  than  themselves,  and  that 
we  offend  God  even  as  they  do ;  which  is  true.  But  as  the 
proverb  says,  "  Sickness  upon  sickness  is  not  health."  If, 
then,  we  come  far  short  in  other  respects,  what  need  is  there 
to  increase  our  condemnation  by  adding  to  the  rest  this  sin 
which  is  so  grievous ;  to  wit,  that  of  not  giving  glory  to  the 
Son  of  God,  who  became  as  nothing  for  our  salvation  ? 

Besides,  after  you  have  done  your  best  by  dissimulation,  to 
keep  clear  of  the  perils  which  surround  you,  you  are  not  a  whit 
better ;  for  the  wicked  are  very  sharp-sighted,  and  you  will 
never  content  them  but  by  an  entire  renunciation  of  God; 
wherefore,  you  have  no  rest  for  the  body  any  more  than  for  the 
soul.  And  after  declension  from  God,  in  order  to  comply  with 
the  world,  you  have  derived  no  benefit  from  it,  except  that  you 
languish  as  in  a  trance.  You  will  ask  me  if,  being  come  hither, 
you  shall  always  have  assured  repose.  I  confess  that  you  will 
not ;  for  while  we  are  in  this  world,  it  is  fitting  that  we 
should  be  like  birds  upon  the  branch.  So  it  has  pleased  God, 
and  it  is  good  for  us.  But  since  this  little  corner  is  vouchsafed 
to  you,  where  you  may  finish  the  remainder  of  your  life  in  his 
service,  if  he  so  please,  or  profit  more  and  more,  and  be  cou- 


92  MADAME   DE   BUDE.  [1546. 

firmed  in  his  word,  in  order  that  you  may  be  more  ready  to 
endure  persecutions,  if  it  shall  so  please  him,  it  is  not  right 
that  you  refuse  it.  We  have  always  to  take  care  lest  we  be  the 
cause  of  our  own  misfortune,  and  draw  it  down  upon  ourselves 
by  not  accepting  the  means  of  escape  which  God  presents  to 
us.  I  know  that  it  is  a  hard  thing  to  leave  the  country  of  our 
birth,  most  of  all  to  a  woman  like  yourself,  of  rank,  and  ad- 
vanced in  life.  But  you  ought  to  overcome  such  difficulties 
by  higher  considerations ;  such  as,  that  we  should  prefer  to 
our  own  country  every  region  where  God  is  purely  worshipped ; 
that  we  should  not  desire  any  better  repose  for  our  old  age 
than  to  abide  in  his  Church,  his  dwelling-place  and  the  place 
of  his  rest ;  that  we  should  prefer  to  be  contemptible  in  the 
place  where  his  name  may  be  glorified  by  us,  to  being  honour- 
able in  the  sight  of  men,  while  we  defraud  him  of  the  honour 
which  belongs  to  him. 

Concerning  the  doubts  which  may  come  into  your  mind,  it 
would  be  too  tedious  to  reply  to  them  all.  But  you  have  always 
this  as  a  settled  point,  that  we  must  refer  our  many  anxieties  to 
the  Providence  of  God,  trusting  that  he  will  provide  an  outlet 
in  cases  where  we  see  none.  And  in  fact  it  is  undoubted,  that 
if  we  seek  him  we  shall  find  him.  That  is  to  say,  he  will  be 
with  us  to  guide  our  steps,  and  to  have  a  care  of  our  affairs,  to 
order  them  well  for  us.  True  it  is,  that  we  shall  not  cease  to 
be  subject  to  many  troubles  and  annoyances ;  but  let  us  pray 
him  that,  having  been  strengthened  by  his  word,  we  may 
have  wherewithal  to  overcome  them.  And  assuredly  you  pos- 
sess many  helps,  which  deprive  you  of  the  excuse  which  many 
others  have.  If  it  shall  please  God  to  lead  you  hither,  you  will 
not  come  so  bereft  of  property  as  to  have  nothing  to  live  upon, 
while  there  are  many  poor  people  who  have  only  burdens  with- 
out temporal  provision.  How  many  Christian  women  are  there 
who  are  held  captive  by  their  children !  while  our  Lord  has 
given  you  this  advantage,  that  you  have  children  who  not  only 
are  ready  to  aid  in  your  deliverance  from  captivity,  but  also 
exhort  you  thereto.  You  have  the  liberty  which  many  wish 
for,  of  which  you  ought  to  avail  yourself,  that  you  ma}''  all  the 
more  freely  engage  in  the  service  of  God.     Among  the  other 


1546.]  MADAME   DE   BUDE.  93 

hindrances  that  it  appears  you  have,  your  daughter  nnay  be  one, 
inasmuch  as  she  is  still  unmarried.  But  instead  of  reckoning 
that  to  be  a  hindrance,  it  ought  rather  to  serve  as  a  spur  the 
more  readily  to  decide  you.  I  understand  that  you  love  her 
not  merely  with  the  common  love  of  mothers,  but  with  a 
peculiar  affection.  I  beseech  you,  then,  to  consider  well  whether 
it  would  be  better  for  her  to  be  there  tied  down  in  marriage, 
to  live  in  perpetual  bondage,  or  to  be  brought  by  you  to  a 
place  where  she  may  be  free  to  live  as  a  Christian  with  her 
husband ;  for  you  must  trust  that  God  will  find  out  for  her  a 
worthy  person,  who  will  be  a  comfort  to  you  as  well  as  to 
herself.'  There  is  one  thing  of  which  it  is  right  that  you 
should  be  made  aware,  in  order  that  nothing  may  alarm  you 
as  new  and  unforeseen.  It  is  this,  that  Satan  will  stir  up  many 
troubles  in  order  to  upset  or  to  delay  your  pious  purpose;  but 
when  you  shall  have  taken  your  fixed  resolve,  it  will  not  be 
difficult  for  you  to  rise  above  all.  Meanwhile,  profit  by  the 
opportunity,  now  when  it  is  offered  to  you ;  for  as,  in  matters 
of  conscience,  it  behoves  us  to  resolve  speedily  without  seek- 
ing advice  or  long  dalliance,  it  is  also  necessary  to  perform 
soon  what  we  have  decided  on,  fearing,  because  of  the  frailty 
which  is  in  us,  to  grow  cold  upon  our  good  intention. 

To  conclude,  knowing  that  all  my  exhortations  must  be 
vain  and  useless,  unless  God  make  them  effectual  by  gaining  an 
entrance  to  your  heart,  I  shall  beseech  him  to  instruct  you  with 
true  prudence  to  decide  upon  what  shall  be  most  fitting  for  you 
to  do;  to  bestow  steadfast  constancy  upon  you  in  obeying  his 
will;  to  stretch  out  the  hand,  and  be  himself  your  guide;  to 
grant  you  such  grace,  that  in  leaning  upon  him,  you  may  per- 
ceive his  aslistance  in  everything,  and  all  throughout. 
Your  servant  and  humble  brother, 

Charles  D'Espeville. 

[Fr.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Gemva.     Vol.  107.] 

■  Catharine  de  Bude  married,  in  1550,  William  de  Trie,  Seigneur  de  Varennes,  a 
gentleman  of  the  Ljonnais,  a  refugee  at  Geneva  on  account  of  religion. 


94  THE  AVOYEK  N(EGUELY.  [1547. 

CLXXXIV. — To  THE  AVOYER  NCEGUELY.' 
Complaints  of  the  misconduct  of  several  ministers  in  the  Pays  de  Vaud. 

From  Lausanne,  this  12th  January  1547. 

MoNSEiGNEUR, — Seeing  that  tbis  present  bearer^  has  brought 
me  so  good  a  testimony  regarding  Lion,  and  also  that  I  myself 
have  known  him  to  be  both  well  qualified  and  zealous,  inso- 
much that  I  have  no  doubt  of  his  fitness  to  serve  the  Church 
of  God,  I  am  constrained  to  recommend  him  to  you,  assured 
also  that  the  letter  of  introduction  which  I  give  him  to  you 
will  be  of  service  to  him,  considering  the  kind  affection  which 
you  bear  to  me.  I  pray  you  then  humbly  that  it  may  please 
you  to  hold  him  as  recommended,  to  the  intent  that  by  your 
means  he  may  hereafter  find  an  opening  for  the  service  of  our 
Lord  Jesus,  in  which  you  may  have  occasion  to  rejoice ;  for 
were  not  such  my  expectation,  I  would  be  very  sorry  to 
breathe  a  word  about  it. 

Moreover,  Monsieur,  if  God  granted  me  an  opportunity  of 
speaking  to  you,  I  would  willingly  disburden  my  heart  of  the 
scandals  which  lie  heavy  upon  us  here,  on  account  of  the  mis- 
conduct of  some  who  are  ministers  of  the  word  of  God  in  your 
demesne,  and  in  their  whole  life  give  constant  occasion  to  blas- 
pheme the  name  of  God.^  I  am  well  persuaded  that  you,  on 
being  made  aware  of  the  wretchedness  in  which  every  one  there- 
abouts is  sunk,  will  be  as  well  disposed  to  provide  for  it,  as  I 
have  great  regret  and  sorrow  even  to  hear  it  spoken  of.  I  be- 
lieve, indeed,  that  you  will  have  spoken  about  it  *in  council, 
seeing  that  a  poor  brother  who  goes  to  your  quarter,  named 

'  John  Francis  Noeguely,  one  of  the  most  illustrious  magistrates,  and  one  of  the 
most  able  captains  of  the  republic  of  Berne,  in  the  sixteenth  century.  In  1536  he  com- 
manded the  Bernese  army,  which  conquered  the  Pa3's  de  Vaud  from  the  Duke  of 
Savoy;  discharged  the  functions  of  Avoyer  from  1540  to  1568,  and  died  at  a  very  ad- 
vanced age. 

"  In  a  note,  by  an  unknown  hand,  "  Philippe  Bui.«sonnier  de  Bresse." 
^Several  ministers  of  the  Pays  de  Vaud,  and  particularly  Zebedee,  later  pastor  of 
Nyon,  Lange,  pastor  of  Bursins,  delivered  from  the  pulpit  the  most  virulent  declama- 
tions against  the  doctrines  of  the  Reformer. 


1547.]  FAREL.  95 

Master  Francis  Maurice,  will  give  jou  occasion  to  think  there- 
upon. 1  do  not  touch  further  on  the  maladies,  except  that  I 
earnestly  desire  that  it  would  please  God  to  put  it  in  your  heart 
to  apply  an  effectual  remedy.  And  because  I  know  that  in- 
dividually you  are  well  inclined,  as  becomes  you,  I  do  beseech 
you,  inasmuch  as  I  ought  to  have  the  interest  of  the  Church  of 
God  at  heart,  that  it  would  please  you  to  hold  out  a  hand  to 
those  who  are  in  trouble  for  having  borne  themselves  faithfully 
in  God's  service  and  yours :  Wherefore,  Monsieur,  after  having 
humbly  commended  me  to  your  kind  favour,  I  pray  our  good 
Lord  to  uphold  you  in  his  safe  keeping,  guiding  you  always 
by'his  Spirit  in  obedience  to  his  will. — Your  humble  servant, 

John  Calvin. 

[Fr.  orig.  arUogr. — Library  of  Geneva.     Vol.  106.] 


CLXXXy.— To  Farel.' 

Mission  of  Calvin  to  Switzerland — dispositions  of  the  various  Cantons. 

Geneva,  20th  February  1547. 

Textor  will  have  returned  to  us  before  my  letter  reaches  you. 
The  reason  why  I  did  not  proceed  by  way  of  [Neuchatel]  in 
returning  from  the  Swiss,  was,  that  I  had  engaged  to  be  present 
with  the  brethren  on  a  day  that  must  have  elapsed  had  I  not 
made  very  great  haste.  With  regard  to  the  present  disturb- 
ances, I  have  to  remark,  that  the  people  of  Bale  are  either  in  a 
state  of  marvellous  insensibility,  or  they  possess  a  wonderful 
power  of  concealing  their  real  feelings.  They  did,  however, 
make  some  exertion,  but  coldly,  and  their  zeal  was  not  to  my 

'  On  the  news  of  the  dangers  that  menaced  the  churches  of  Germany,  an  important 
mission  had  been  confided  to  the  Reformer.  "  Calvin  is  despatched  by  the  Seigneury 
to  Zurich,  to  obtain  certain  information  of  the  condition  of  the  war  between  the  Em- 
peror and  the  Protestant  princes." — Registert  of  Council,.  2Zd  January  1547.  "Cal- 
vin having  returned,  reports  that  the  war  between  the  Emperor  and  the  Protestants 
is  more  enkindled  than  ever,  and  that  the  Swiss,  apprehensive  of  that  prince  turning 
his  arms  against  them,  are  putting  themselves  in  a  state  of  defence." — Ibid.,  23d 
January  1547. 

In  a  letter  to  Farel,  he  gave  with  greater  detail  the  impressions  ho  had  received 
during  his  hasty  journey. 


96  FAREL.  [1547. 

mind.  I  observed  great  fervour  at  Zurich.  The  inhabitants 
of  that  place  were  as  much  concerned  about  the  people  of  Con- 
stance' as  about  themselves.  They  made  over  to  them  all  their 
resources,  and  yet  the  wretched  state  continued  still  to  vacillate, 
just  as  if  it  had  been  without  any  help  whatever.  If  it  had 
stood  to  this  hour,  I  think  there  would  have  been  no  danger  for 
the  future.  If  you  are  in  possession  of  any  information,  make 
us  aware  of  it.  Some  people  were  furious,  because  of  a  report 
that  the  ambassadors  of  the  people  of  Strasbourg  were  seen  in 
the  court  of  Charles.  To  me  it  does  not  appear  probable.  The 
people  of  Zurich  were  soon  persuaded.  I  was,  however,  greatly 
pleased  to  find  that  they  forgot  all  causes  of  dissension,  and 
thought  only  of  the  common  weal,  being  prepared  to  spend  their 
strength  not  less  in  behalf  of  Strasbourg  than  of  Constance. 
You  can  hardly  credit  how  offensive  are  the  terms  accepted  by 
the  cities  that  have  surrendered  ;  but  the  most  disgraceful  of 
all  is  Wurtemberg.^  This,  to  be  sure,  is  the  reward  of  tyrants. 
I  observe  that  the  Bernese  were  occupied  in  defending  their 
own  bounds,  that  they  might  be  the  less  conscious  of  the  neigh- 
bouring conflagration.  But  there  are  very  many  more  private 
matters  regarding  the  churches  that  cannot  be  committed  to 
writing.  It  would  therefore  repay  the  trouble  if  you  came  hither 
speedily,  because  I  have  now  in  hand  certain  materials  which 
I  must  send  back  in  a  short  time.  I  am  desirous  that  their 
contents  be  communicated  to  you,  and  you  will  infer  that  I  am 
not  desirous  of  that  without  good  grounds. — Adieu,  my  brother, 
along  with  your  whole  family,  to  the  members  of  which  you 
will  convey  the  best  greeting  in  my  name  and  that  of  my  wife. 
Salute  also  respectfully  all  the  brethren. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  106.] 

'  Situated  at  the  extremity  of  the  Confederation,  without  forming  part  of  it,  and 
sharing  the  faith  of  the  Reformed  Cantons,  Constance,  the  first  city  open  to  the  attacks 
of  the  Emperor  upon  the  banks  of  the  Rhine,  invoked  the  aid  of  the  Cantons,  whose 
rigorous  neutrality  left  it  exposed  without  defence  to  its  adversaries. — Histoire  de  la 
CoHfidiration  Suisse,  tom.  xi.  p.  296. 

^  Ulrich,  Duke  of  Wurtemberg,  although  among  the  first  to  submit  to  the  Emperor, 
was  compelled  to  sue  for  pardon  oh  his  knees,  and  to  pay  a  ransom  of  300,000  crowns. 
—Robertson,  Hist,  of  Charles  V.,  book  viii. 


1547.]  MONSIEUR  DE   FALAIS.  97 


CLXXXVL— To  Monsieur  de  Falais. 

Search  for  a  house  for  that  gentleman  in  Geneva — Various  details — Mention  of  Charles 
V.  and  Francis  I. 

From  Geneva,  this  25th  Feh-uary  1547. 

MoNSEiGNEUR, — Having  received  your  letter  by  the  Sieur  de 
la  Eiviere,  I  feared  that  the  other,  of  which  you  made  mention, 
must  have  been  lost.  It  has  since  been  brought  to  me.  In 
reply,  I  thank  God  for  having  increased  your  joy  and  content- 
ment. I  have  written  briefly  a  joint  letter  to  the  three  com- 
panions, to  congratulate  them  on  their  welfare.  I  know  not 
whether  God  will  one  day  so  bless  us,  that  they  shall  have  no 
more  need  of  my  letters.  If  not,  I  shall  another  time  be  a 
little  more  liberal  on  paper. 

As  for  yourself,  in  obedience  to  the  commission  which  you 
gave  me,  I  have  looked  about  since  my  return  for  a  convenient 
lodging.  As  for  that  of  Cl^bergue,'  you  would  be  too  far  away 
from  the  neighbours  you  desire ;  ^  although  I  have  long  had  a 
wish  for  it  myself,  for  the  sake  of  retirement,  when  I  seek  to  have 
leisure:  And  they  promised  to  let  me  have  an  answer;  but 
none  has  come.  If  I  had  it  at  my  disposal  as  they  had  given 
me  to  hope,  you  know  that  it  would  be  very  much  at  your  ser- 
vice. Near  us,  I  have  not  been  able  to  find  one  having  a 
garden,  which  would  be  more  suitable  for  you  than  the  one 
which  I  have  taken.  Not  that  I  am  quite  content  with  the 
lodging,  but  I  took  it  for  want  of  a  better.  You  will  have  in 
front  a  small  garden,  and  a  tolerably  spacious  court.  Behind 
there  is  another  garden.  A  great  saloon,  with  as  beautiful  a 
view  as  you  could  well  desire  for  the  summer.  The  other  rooms 
have  not  so  pleasant  an  aspect  as  I  would  like.  But  when  you 
have  arrived,  possibly  we  may  devise  some  satisfactory  arrange- 
ment.   With  the  exception  of  the  saloon,  one  might  find  houses 

'  The  present  Quai  des  Berguet. 

'  Calvin  at  that  time  inhabited  the  house  of  the  Sieur  de  Freneville,  situated  in  the 
Etie  dea   Chanoines,  near  St.  Peter's  Church,  and  corresponding  to  the  house  in  the 
same  street  which  is  now  No.  122. — See  the  Minwirea  de  la  Sociiti  d'Hiatoire  de 
Genive,  vol.  ix.  p.  391. 
13 


98  MONSIEUR  DE   FALAIS.  [1547. 

better  furnished  aud  moreconveniently  laid  out;  but  there  would 
have  been  no  garden,  and  I  see  that  is  a  feature  which  you 
desire  above  all.  However  that  may  be,  it  is  hired  for  twelve 
crowns.  When  you  see  it,  if  you  say  that  this  is  too  much,  I 
shall  have  my  excuse  ready,  that  I  am  not  such  a  manager  as 
to  be  very  sparing  of  my  purse,  any  more  than  of  that  of  others. 
I  have  hurried  on  the  bargain  solely  on  account  of  the  garden. 
If  time  hangs  heavy  with  you  where  you  are,  it  appears  to  me 
the  season  will  be  as  suitable  in  a  mouth  as  at  a  later  period, 
provided  that  the  weather  be  as  favourable  as  it  usually  is  at 
that  time.  As  for  escort,  although  my  brother  is  not  here  at 
this  moment,  I  can  safely  venture  to  undertake  for  him  that  he 
will  willingly  serve  you;  and  he  has  gone  that  road  so  often, 
that  he  ought  to  know  it  well.  Moreover,  he  has  already  had 
to  do  with  the  boatmen:  and  I  believe  you  will  recollect  my 
advice,  that  you  should  come  part  of  the  way  by  water,  to  re- 
fresh you.  Awaiting  your  full  resolve,  we  shall  sow  without 
making  any  stir  about  it,  and  prune  the  vines. 

As  for  your  causes  of  complaint,  I  beseech  you,  Monseigneur, 
to  overlook  many  things,  to  avoid  that  vexation  which  does  not 
alleviate  the  ill,  and  cannot  mend  it;  above  all,  to  please  to 
bear  with  what  may  have  been  done  from  inconsiderate  zeal, 
for  that  is  a  fault  which  happens  with  the  best.  But  I  believe 
the  matter  has  been  already  settled  in  some  way  or  other.  I 
hope  the  consequences  have  been  modified  by  your  prudence. 

With  regard  to  Sieur  de  Par^,'  if  peradventure  he  should 
come  straight  to  you  without  passing  this  way,  and  that  besides 
he  makes  fresh  overtures  in  regard  to  the  proposal,  you  have  there 
Monsieur  D'Albiac,  who,  being  very  intimate  with  him,  will  be 
able  to  inform  you  of  everything  better  than  Maldonado  can 
have  done.  And  it  will  be  right  to  make  diligent  inquiry ;  for 
I  would  fear  that  by  the  follies  of  his  youth  he  may  have  had 
some  disease,  such  as  many  persons  have  now-a-days.  I  openly 
avow  to  you  my  fear,  choosing  to  exceed  in  that  respect,  rather 
than  to  conceal  anything  until  it  be  too  late.  You  will  ask 
me  wherefore  then  I  have  put  off  so  much  time  already.  But 
my  conjectures  on  this  point  have  arisen  since.   It  would  indeed 

'  He  sought  in  marriage  a  relation  of  M.  de  Falais. 


1547.]  MONSIEUR   DE   FALAIS.  99 

have  been  the  shortest  way  to  communicate  by  word  of  mouth, 
if  I  had  conceived  in  my  mind  all  that  I  do  now.  I  set  the 
matter  before  you,  that  you  may  think  of  it.  For  I  would  not 
have  that  reproach, — I  mean  not  only  in  the  sight  of  the  world, 
but  also  before  God, — that  the  girl  should  have  been  in  any 
way  wronged  by  my  concealment.  I  am  aware,  that  by  reason 
of  its  being  a  malady  so  common  and  prevalent,  many  make 
scarcely  any  difficulty  about  it.  But  I  suspect  that  you,  like 
myself,  will  have  your  scruples. 

To  make  an  end.  Monsieur,  after  having  humbly  commended 
me  to  your  kind  favour,  and  that  of  Madame,  I  entreat  our 
good  Lord  to  have  you  in  his  keeping,  which  is  the  one  thing 
needful  of  our  whole  life,  as  well  for  this  present  time  as  that 
which  is  to  come ;  I  mean  that  he  may  always  make  you  to 
feel  as  he  does  now,  that  you  are  under  his  guidance.  All 
those  who  do  not  write,  humbly  commend  them  to  your  good 
graces,  and  to  those  of  Madame. 

Your  servant  and  humble  brother, 

John  Calvin. 

Monsieur,  he  who  will  present  you  this  letter,  is  the  ambas- 
sador from  this  town.  There  are  two  who  proceed  to  your 
quarter,  I  know  not  wherefore,  that  is  to  say,  on  account  of 
their  private  affairs,  which  they  have  to  settle  together.  I  have 
thought  it  well  to  inform  you  of  this,  for  no  other  reason,  save 
that  I  presume  you  would  have  been  sorry  not  to  have  been  told 
of  it.  For  if  your  affairs  admit  of  your  deciding  to  come,  you 
may  avail  yourself  of  this  means  of  communication  ;  not  that 
there  is  need  of  great  ceremony,  as  we  have  already  spoken  of 
it,  but  only  in  order  that  they  may  not  fancy  themselves 
slighted,  especially  if  you  should  come  hither.  I  speak  the 
language  of  the  country.  If  there  are  any  good  tidings,  I  hope 
that  they  will  bring  them  to  us.  But  there  is  need  for  God 
humbling  us,  from  whichever  side  it  may  come.  I  hope,  how- 
ever, that  our  Antiochus,'  who  presses  us  at  present,  will  be  so 

'  The  Emperor  Charles  the  Fifth, — conqueror,  without  a  combat,  of  the  army  of  the 
confederate  princes  :  thanks  to  the  treason  of  Maurice  of  Saxony,  this  prince,  although 
suffering  severely  from  the  gout,  was  at  this  very  time  receiving  the  submission  of  the 


100  MONSIEUK   DE  FALAIS.  [1547. 

hard  pressed,  that  he  shall  be  regardless  of  the  gout  ia  his 
hands  and  in  his  feet ;  for  he  will  have  it  over  his  whole  body. 
As  regards  his  companion,  Sardanapalus,'  may  God  have  a 
like  care  of  him !  for  they  are  both  well  worthy  to  have  the 
same  measure  meted  to  them. 

[Fr.  orig.  auiogr. — Library  of  Geneva.     Vol.  194.] 


CLXXXYIL— To  MoNsiEUK  de  Falais.^^ 

Instructions  regarding  the  Apology — alarming  rumours  current  at  Geneva — Calvin's 

confidence. 

From  Geneva,  this  7th  of  March  1547. 

MoNSEiGNEUR, — I  forgot  in  my  last  letter  to  mention  the  sub- 
ject of  the  AjMlogi/,  and  I  know  not  how  it  had  escaped  me. 
Saint  Andr^  had  the  copy  ;  and  in  so  far  I  was  not  deceived  in 
my  opinion.  But  as  matters  stand  at  present,  if  you  should 
think  of  printing  it,  I  do  not  see  anything  there  will  be  to 
change.  To  soften  it  down,  that  is  not  possible;  and  the  times 
will  not  warrant  its  being  kindled  into  greater  vehemence,  at 
least  with  any  effect.  And  if  you  determine  to  have  it  printed 
at  Strasbourg,  I  am  not  very  sure  that  they  will  venture  to 
admit  it  as  it  is.  "  J^or  what  can  he  dare  to  do  luho  hath  once 
involved  himself  with  a  tyrant  V^  Here  there  would  be  more 
liberty.  I  recollect  that  you  spoke  to  me,  immediately  after 
having  seen  it,  about  correcting  some  points,  but  without  signi- 
fying to  me  what  these  were,  nor  how  to  be  corrected.  Will 
you  therefore  please  to  let  me  know  your  wish  by  the  first  oppor- 
tunity, and  what  you  desire  that  I  should  do  ?   As  for  some  one 

confederate  towns  of  Suabia  and  of  the  Palatin.ate,  from  which  he  exacted  enormous 
penalties. 

'  The  King,  Francis  I.     He  died  the  following  month,  the  31st  March  1547. 

^  On  the  hack — To  Monseigneur,  Monsieur  de  Fallez,  at  Basle,  near  to  the  Cauf- 
Hauss. — M.  de  Falais  was  in  fact  about  to  quit  Strasbourg,  then  threatened  by  the  im- 
perial army,  to  fix  his  residence  in  Switzerland. 

s  "  Quid  enim  audeat,  qui  tyranno  se  implicuit  ?"  The  town  of  Strasbourg  had  sub- 
mitted itself  to  the  emperor.  The  terms  of  that  submission  bore,  that  it  shall  renounce 
the  League  of  Smalkald,  and  shall  contribute,  with  the  other  states,  to  the  execution 
of  the  sentence  pronounced  against  the  Landgrave  and  the  Elector. 


1547.]  MONSIEUR  DE   FALAIS.  101 

to  translate  it  into  Latin,  you  have  one  at  hand  sufficiently 
elegant,  should  you  think  proper  to  make  use  of  him,'  Ilere, 
also,  we  might  doubtless  find  one;  for  want  of  a  better,  I  shall 
undertake  it  myself, — and  that  I  hope  I  may  do,  without  boast- 
ing; for  provided  that  it  is  perspicuous,  that  will  be  sufficient; 
and  besides,  the  barbarism  of  Majestas  vestra^  which  one  must 
employ,  forbids  a  too  exquisitely  ornate  style.  In  any  event, 
however,  we  shall  have  need  of  your  advice,  in  case  we  under- 
take it  here.  Moreover,  our  people  are  in  some  alarm.  But  I 
do  not  think  they  have  any  cause.  You  know  very  well  that 
frontier  towns  are  very  apt  to  take  fright;  and  forasmuch  as 
we  have  Granvelle  for  a  neighbour,^  and  we  hear  talk  of  a  levy 
of  men,  one  is  somewhat  in  doubt.  As  for  me,  I  think  differ- 
ently, for  it  is  not  the  proper  season  for  attempting  anything 
here.  But  we  must  let  many  rumours  glide  past,  even  as  we 
cannot  hinder  water  from  going  downwards.  However  matters 
turn  out,  I  a,m  very  glad  that  our  Lord  arouses  us,  in  order  to 
make  us  turn  to  himself;  and  that  is  the  greatest  mercy  that 
can  happen  to  us,  that  we  may  be  led  to  commit  ourselves  in 
real  earnest  to  his  protection. 

Making  an  end  for  the  present.  Monsieur,  after  having 
humbly  commended  myself  to  the  kind  favour  both  of  yourself 
and  Madame,  and  having  presented  the  respects  of  our  neigh- 
bours, I  pray  our  good  Lord  to  have  you  in  his  holy  keeping, 
to  guide  you  in  all  your  paths,  to  show  you  what  is  right  and 
fit  for  you  to  do,  and  to  give  eventually  a  good  and  prosperous 
result. 

You  will  perceive  by  the  letter  of  Sire  Nicolas  how  it  goes 
with  your  money.  He  has  also  informed  me  of  the  choice 
which  he  sets  before  you;  you  will  make  your  election  as 
opportunity  presents  itself. 

Your  servant  and  humble  brother  for  ever, 

John  Calvin. 

[Fr.  orig.  auiogr. — Library  of  Gemva.     Vol.  194.] 

'  Sebastian  Castellio,  who  had  then  retired  to  Brde. 

'  Antoine  Perrenot,  Bishop  of  Arras,  Cardinal  de  Granvelle,  the  celebrated  minister 
of  Charles  V.  and  of  Philip  IL  lie  was  born  at  Ornans,  near  Besanj on  in  1517,  and 
died  in  1586  at  Madrid. 


102  MONSIEUR  DE  FALAIS.  [1547. 


CLXXXYIII.— To  Monsieur  de  Palais. 

Disputes  of  M.  de  Falais  with  Valeran  Poulain — Reports  of  the  expected  arrival  of 
the  former  in  Geneva. 

Prom  Geneva,  thi»  15th  March  1547. 

Monseigneur, — I  am  glad  that  you  have  our  brother,  Master 
Peter  Yiret,  to  cheer  you  in  the  midst  of  the  annoyances  which 
must  have  been  very  hard  upon  you,  seeing  that  I  have  been 
tormented  more  than  I  can  express  through  mere  sympathy. 
But  I  hope  that  God  has  applied  a  remedy  as  regards  the  actual 
issue;  and  assuredly  he  has  cared  for  you  by  sending  you 
him  from  whom  you  may  receive  as  effectual  consolation  as 
from  any  man  in  the  world,  so  that  I  am  in  nowise  sorry  that 
I  did  not  undertake  the  journey;  for  I  do  not  fear  that  you 
will  have  any  need  of  me.  For  this  reason,  also,  I  shall  make 
my  letters  to  you  shorter. 

Concerning  the  person  you  allude  to,'  I  am  not  aware  of 
having  given  him  any  reason  to  think  that  I  deemed  your  com- 
plaints excessive;  but  fearing  lest  some  illness  might  attack 
you,  and  also  thinking  it  unbecoming  that  you  should  enter 
into  contention  with  a  man  of  his  disposition;  considering  on 
the  other  hand  his  audacity,  and  what  a  venomous  animal  is  apt 
to  emit  when  pressed,  I  entreated  you  to  take  the  whole  with 
moderation,  so  far  as  might  be  possible.  Besides,  I  know  him 
well,  and  do  not  so  much  fear  his  ill-will,  as  to  wish  that  the 
Church  of  God  should  suffer  from  my  dissimulation.  But  I 
do  not  see  now  what  I  can  do  in  the  matter,  and  indeed  there 
is  no  present  need.  For  where  he  is  known,  his  reputation  is 
already  lower  than  we  need.  Where  he  is  unknown,  nothing 
would  be  gained  by  speaking  of  him,  unless  he  endeavours  to 
insinuate  himself  But  yet  God  may  make  him  wise,  after 
having  suitably  chastised  him  on  account  of  his  foolishness. 

'  Allusion  to  Valeran  Poulain.  It  appears  from  the  next  letter  in  this  Series,  pp.  104- 
106,  that  Valeran  sought,  in  spite  of  the  opposition  of  M.  de  Falais,  the  hand  of 
Mademoiselle  de  Willergy,  a  relation  of  this  Seigneur,  likewise  sought  by  M.  de  Pare. 
—  See  Note  1,  p.  98. 


1547.]  MONSIEUR   DE  FALAIS,  103 

I.  now  come  to  your  journey.  Although  I  see  no  danger  in 
the  way,  either  of  ambush,  or  of  other  proceedings  of  a  like 
kind,  nor  yet  of  open  violence, — nevertheless,  as  for  the  first, 
I  have  given  no  assurance  to  any  one  to  that  effect,  but  on  the 
contrary  rather  have  my  suspicion.  In  the  second  place,  as 
regards  the  time  of  your  coming,  I  have  spoken  as  one  who 
knew  nothing  at  all  about  it.  It  is  true  that  when  I  am  asked 
if  you  have  an  intention  of  coming  to  see  us,  I  am  not  very 
obstinate  in  the  denial  thereof  to  my  friends,  fearing  lest  they 
might  think  me  a  double  dealer.  And  even  when  I  have  hired 
the  house,  not  only  he  who  spoke  to  you,  but  some  others, 
also,  haye  at  once  conjectured  that  it  was  for  yourself.  I  have 
answered  them.  Yea,  that  it  was  possible,  but  that  there  were 
others  for  whom  it  might  be ;  that  I  took  it  thus  at  a  venture, 
not  doubting,  however,  to  find  a  tenant  to  put  into  it.  I  cannot, 
however,  hinder  many  from  guessing  about  it,  and  persuading 
themselves,  without  my  breathing  a  word  on  the  subject,  that 
3^ou  are  coming.  However,  if  it  please  God,  you  shall  have  no 
prejudice  thereby  so  far  as  I  am  concerned.  I  hope,  if  the 
Lord  will,  that  next  week  Master  Peter  Viret  will  bring  us 
your  news.  If  after  having  heard  our  brother  Saint  Andrd, 
you  have  anything  new  to  tell  me,  you  will  find  a  suitable 
messenger  in  him. 

Whereupon,  Monsieur,  having  affectionately  commended  me 
to  your  kind  favour,  and  to  that  of  Madame,  and  having  pre- 
sented to  both  of  you  the  remembrance  of'my  wife  and  friends, 
I  beseech  our  good  Lord  to  have  you  always  in  his  keeping, 
to  comfort  you,  to  strengthen  and  perfect  you  in  every  work 
for  his  glory,  and  your  salvation.  Amen. 
Your  very  humble  servant  and  brother, 

John  Calvin. 

[Fr.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Yol.  194.] 


104  VALERAN  POULAIN.  [1547. 


CLXXXIX.— To  Valerax  Poulain.^ 

Severe  reprobation  of  his  behaviour  towards  M.  de  Falais — reply  to  a  calumny  directed 
against  the  Reformer. 

[Geneva,  March  1547.] 

Greeting, — I  only  received  your  letter  this  day,  wliich  was 
later  than  was  proper.  Meanwhile,  however,  I  think  that  the 
conversation  of  our  friend  Yiret  has  done  something  towards 
changing  your  mind  on  the  point.  AVhen  I  heard  SainfAndr^'s 
account  of  the  matter,  I  briefly  replied  that  I  was  not  a  little 
grieved  to  find  that  you  had  thus  sullied  by  your  last  act 
whatever  praise  you  had  earned,  in  the  discharge  of  a  mission 
so  illustrious.  And  I  am  not  indeed  so  light-minded,  as  to 
pronounce  a  judgment  after  hearing  merely  the  one  side  of  a 
question.  Nor  is  my  vision  blinded  by  the  splendour  of  rank; 
but  while  I  hear  men  indifferent,  and  giving  expression  to 
no  accusing  word,  I  am  constrained  to  think  that  you  acted 
neither  with  prudence  nor  propriety  in  soliciting  the  girl  in 
marriage.  But  I  am  still  more  displeased,  seeing  she  com- 
plains that  you  circumvented  her  by  means  of  numerous 
baseless  accusations,  and  indirect  arts.  You  mention  to  me 
Bucer  and  Bernardino,  If  you  had  done  nothing  but  with 
their  advice,  you  would,  assuredly,  never  have  set  about  what 
you  did.  Do  you  suppose  that  your  cause  will  meet  with  their 
approval  ?  I  mentioned  in  a  former  letter,  regarding  the 
younger  [lady]  to  whom  you  aspired,  what  I  thought  was  cen- 

'  Enclosed  in  a  letter  to  M.  de  Falais,  with  the  words, — Copy  of  a  letter  written  to 
Valeran. 

There  has  been  already  repeated  mention  of  Valeran  Poulain  in  the  correspondence 
of  Calvin  with  M.  de  Falais,  and  wo  shall  again  find  his  name  in  the  subsequent  let- 
ters of  the  Reformer,  when  a  refugee  at  Strasbourg  on  the  ground  of  religion.  He 
aspired  at  that  time  to  the  functions  of  the  ministry,  which  he  exercised  at  a  later 
period  at  London  and  Frankfort  j  and  if,  by  his  indiscretion,  he  at  first  drew  down 
upon  himself  the  severe  censures  of  Calvin,  he  afterwards  succeeded  in  regaining  his 
esteem  and  meriting  his  affection.  See  the  correspondence  of  the  Reformer,  (years 
1555,  1556.) 


1547.]  VALERAN  POULAIN.  105 

surable  in  her.  In  seeking  after  this  one,  you  seem  to  have 
forgotten  what  you  wrote  to  the  other  on  your  departure.  Even 
although  nothing  else  had  stood  in  the  way,  you  ought  to  have 
absolutely  abstained  from  the  mention  of  marriage  until  she 
had  reached  her  destination.  But  if  what  she  herself  testifies  be 
true,  the  engagement  was  brought  about  through  the  influence 
of  the  worst  inducements.  Accordingly  I  shall  not  believe  that 
the  marriage  is,  as  you  say,  from  the  Lord,  until  you  prove  that 
she  says  what  is  untrue,  when  she  affirms  that  you  had  before- 
hand engrossed  her  mind  with  numerous  calumnies.  Albeit, 
she  strongly  asserts  that  she  gave  you  no  credence,  and  that  no 
engagement  was  formed  between  you,  but  that  she  always 
expressly  stipulated  to  be  allowed  to  do  everything  in  accord- 
ance w  ith  the  advice  of  Monsieur  de  Falais.  She  says,  however, 
that  you  affirmed  that  his  will  was  quite  well  known  to  you,  that 
the  only  difficulty  would  be  with  his  wife,  as  she  still  regarded 
with  admiration  the  fumes  of  nobility.  These  were  not  the 
tokens  of  God;  but  you  prohibit  me  from  believing  them.  I 
can  do  nothing  less,  however,  than  hear  both  sides.  "When 
I  reflect  on  the  whole  circumstances,  certain  particulars  ap- 
pear with  which,  I  confess,  I  am  displeased.  You  remind  me 
that  illustrious  men  are  sometimes  guilty  of  grave  ofiences. 
It  is  on  other  grounds,  however,  that  I  love  and  reverence 
M.  de  Falais,  than  on  account  of  the  mock  greatness  on  which 
alone  most  of  the  nobility  pride  themselves.  In  the  next 
place,  I  have,  as  yet,  heard  nothing  from  him  but  reasonable 
complaints.  Moreover,  I  have  looked  more  to  the  matter  itself 
than  to  the  persons,  I  wish  that  you  had  never  involved  your- 
self in  those  troubles;  but  since  it  has  so  happened,  it  remains 
for  me  to  desire  to  see  you  relieved  from  them  in  a  short  space, 
which  I  trust  is  now  accomplished. 

With  regard  to  the  estate  which  I  am  said  to  have  purchased 
with  so  many  thousands,  I  should  indeed  be  silly  if  I  spent 
many  words  in  rebutting  falsehoods  so  gross.  There  is  no 
one  here,  or  in  the  whole  vicinity,  who  is  not  aware  that  I  do 
not  possess  a  foot  of  land.  Moreover,  my  acquaintances  well 
know  that  I  never  had  money  sufficient  to  purchase  an  acre, 
unless  when  I  am  paid  what  enables  me  to  meet  the  expendi- 
U 


106  VIRET.  [1547. 

ture  of  the  quarter.  I  have  surely  not  reached  the  point  alleged, 
as  I  am  still  using  in  my  house  another's  furniture;  for  neither 
the  table  at  which  we  eat,  nor  the  bed  on  which  we  sleep,  is  my 
own.  Whence,  then,  those  reports?  I  know  not,  unless  it  be 
that  godless  men  so  malign  me,  in  order  to  fix  a  brand  on  the 
Gospel.  They  will  never,  however,  prevent  me  from  being 
truly  rich,  because  I  am  abundantly  satisfied  with  my  slender 
means;  and  while  my  poverty  is  a  burden  to  no  one,  it  is 
nevertheless  an  alleviation  to  some. 

Adieu,  and  believe  that  I  am  friendly  disposed  towards  you. 
I  wish  there  may  sometimes  occur  occasion  for  correspond- 
ence, &o. 

[Lat.  copy. — Library  of  Geneva.    Yol.  194;] 


CXC— To   YlRET.' 
Weakness  of  the  Genevese  magistracy — Expectation  of  Viret's  arrival  in  Geneva. 

Geneva,  27th  March  1547. 

I  AM  in  doubt  with  regard  to  your  coming  to  us.*  Eoset,  as 
far  as  I  hear,  exceeded  due  bounds  in  explaining  to  you  the 
necessity  for  it,  although  he  is  not  the  only  one  who  errs  in 
this  respect ;  for  the  whole  council  is  in  a  state  of  groundless 
agitation.  I  see  no  one  of  the  whole  number  in  whom  I  can 
put  confidence.  I  certainly  observe  no  one  here  who  can  be 
said  to  be  judicious.  They  show  no  boldness  in  a  good  and 
praiseworthy  cause.  So  childish  are  they  all,  that  they  are 
frightened  by  the  silly  shake  of  a  head,  while  a  man  of  no  con- 
sequence displays  his  insanity.     I  do  not  defend  my  cause 

'  Invested  with  the  right  of  censure  and  ecclesiastical  excommunication,  the  Con- 
sistory daily  beheld  its  authority  assailed  and  disowned  by  numerous  adversaries,  who 
accused  it  of  encroaching  upon  the  power  of  the  magistrates.  "  The  ministers  com- 
plain that  they  are  accused  of  exceeding  the  authority  accorded  them  by  the  edicts,  and 
request  permission  to  put  into  force  the  right  of  excommunication,  in  order  to  bring 
offenders  to  their  duty.  Resolved  to  hand  over  to  the  Consistory  rebellious  and  ob- 
stinate oflfenders,  and  to  leave  the  others  unmolested." — Regiatere  of  Council,  21st  and 
29  th  May  1547. 

"  "  Arrival  at  Geneva  of  the  minister  Viret,  a  very  excellent  man."— Begiaters, 
April  1547. 


1547.]  viRET.  107 

under  the  form  bf  a  public  one,  carried  on  in  my  absence.  If  I 
desist  from  prosecuting  it,  the  whole  consistory  will  of  neces- 
sity go  to  ruin.  Moreover,  they  so  conduct  themselves  as  to 
extort  daily  clamours  in  the  course  of  their  sermons ;  other- 
wise the  entreaties  of  Koset  would  not  have  particularly  influ- 
enced me.  Just  now,  our  brother  has  made  known  to  me  from 
Saint  Andr^,  that  our  comic  actor  Csesar,  and  certain  of  his 
faction,  have  been  making  diligent  inquiry  as  to  whether  you 
were  coming  hither  immediately.  I  observe,  therefore,  that 
there  is  a  strong  desire  for  you  on  the  part  of  some,  that  others 
expect  you  because  they  are  aware  that  you  have  been  sum- 
moned. With  no  one  belonging  to  the  council  have  I  any 
communication  that  can  be  relied  on,  MicheP  alone  excepted; 
but  he  is  neither  very  sharp-sighted,  nor  is  he  even  admitted 
to  the  more  private  deliberations.  John  Parvi  makes  a  mag- 
nificent offer  of  his  services,  but  he  is  not  the  thing.  Besides 
these,  no  one  has  come  near  me.  Certain  guesses,  not  lightly 
formed,  have  made  me  suspicious  of  Corna.  I  indeed  love  the 
man,  but  he  does  not  permit  me  to  confide  in  him.  In  the 
first  place,  he  is  timid ;  in  the  next,  he  is  distrustful ;  and, 
finally,  he  adores  that  shadow,  or  ghost  if  you  will.^  Those 
who  are  desirous  that  the  matter  should  be  arranged  without 
disturbance,  hope  that  you  would  prove  a  suitable  pacificator. 
The  party  composing  the  faction  itself  is  anxious  for  you,  with 
the  view  of  being  somewhat  relieved  from  its  difficulties  by 
your  mediation.  We  desire  and  solicit  you,  I  myself  in  parti- 
cular, that  you  may  see,  judge,  and  do  whatever  in  your  opinion 
shall  be  for  the  interest  of  the  Church.  But  observe  its  wretched 
condition.  Farel  lately  learned  that  he  had  been  unfortunate 
in  turning  to  me  for  assistance,  because  nothing  could  be  done 
unless  he  were  separated  from  me.  Nothing  assuredly  would 
be  more  agreeable  to  me,  than  if  all  matters  here  were  brought 
to  a  happy  issue  by  your  interference,  even  though  I  were 
banished  to  the  Garamantes,  But  this  mode  of  procedure  will 
be  as  little  satisfactory  to  you  as  to  myself  I  mention  this 
plan  as  that  prescribed  by  the  most  moderate,  as  they  wish  to 

*  Doubtless  Michel  Morel. 

"  Is  this  an  allusion  to  the  gradually  declining  influence  of  Amy  Pcrrin  ? 


108  WOLFGANG   MUSCULUS.  [1547. 

be  thought.  But  if  you  could  be  here  by  Tuesday  next,  and 
remain  until  Monday,  you  might  have  my  opinion  of  this  com- 
plicated matter ;  you  would,  in  that  case,  I  presume,  conduct 
public  worship.  Should  it  be  necessary  for  you  to  return 
sooner,  I  do  not  advise  you  to  subject  yourself  to  so  much 
trouble  for  no  purpose.  If  the  arrangements  of  your  church 
do  not  permit  you  to  come  in  such  good  time,  I  have  nothing 
to  say ;  but  if  I  were  in  your  place,  I  know  what  I  would  do; 
I  do  not,  however,  wish  you  to  be  guided  by  my  judgment. 
Adieu,  therefore,  brother  and  dearest  friend,  along  with  your 
wife  and  brothers,  all  of  whom  you  will  greet  in  my  name. 
Des  Gallars  sends  his  warm  thanks  to  you  through  me,  and  he 
expresses  the  same  to  me,  on  the  ground  that  I  am  the  cause 
of  your  undertaking  the  journey. — Yours, 

John  Calvin.  . 

[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Yol.  106.] 


CXCI. — To  Wolfgang  Musculus.^ 

Anxiety  regarding  the  Churches  of  Germany — advice  to  Musculus. 

Geneva,  21st  Ajnil  1547. 

If  I  were  to  follow  out  the  subject  in  this  letter,  as  time  and 
the  present  condition  of  things  demand,  I  see  that  there  would 
be  no  end  to  it.  There  are,  besides,  other  reasons  that  prevent 
me  from  entering  on  this  forest  so  full  of  thorns.     I  was  un- 

'  To  the  excellent  servant  of  Christ  our  Lord,  Doctor  Wolfgang  Musculus,  most 
reverend  pastor  of  the  Church  of  Augsbourg,  brother,  and  fellow-minister. 

Wolfgang  Musculus,  born  in  a  small  town  of  Lorraine,  and  of  an  obscure  family, 
raised  himself  by  his  talents,  and  the  varied  range  of  his  accomplishments,  to  a  place 
among  the  most  distinguished  men  of  his  time.  He  cultivated  with  success  music, 
poetry,  and  theology ;  was  converted  to  the  gospel  in  a  convent  by  the  perusal  of  the 
writings  of  Luther;  gained  the  friendship  of  Capito  and  Bucer,  and  quitted  Stras- 
bourg in  15.31,  with  a  view  to  the  discharge  of  the  functions  of  the  ministry  in  the 
church  of  Augsbourg.  Driven  from  that  city  in  1548,  by  the  proclamation  of  the 
Interim,  he  withdrew  at  first  to  Zurich,  and  afterwards  to  Berne,  where  he  died  in 
1563.  His  numerous  manuscripts,  as  well  as  those  of  Abraham  Musculus  bis  son, 
are  preserved  Ln  the  Library  of  Zoffingue. — Meloh.  Adam,  Vitce  Theol.  Germ.,  p.  367. 


1547.]  WOLFGANG   MUSCULUS.  109 

willing,  however,  to  send  away  this  youth  wholly  empty,  who 
had  come  in  my  way,  without  at  least  testifying  to  you,  in  the 
present  calamitous  state  of  your  church,  and  as  becomes  the 
friendly  relations  subsisting  between  us,  that  I  ever  bear  you  in 
mind.  Indeed,  when  the  earliest  rumours  reached  this,  you 
were  among  the  first,  of  those  whose  danger  caused  me  agony, 
to  occur  to  my  mind;  and  when  the  ungovernable  violence  of 
my  grief  had  hurried  me  to  Zurich,  as  soon  as  I  fell  in  with 
Bernardino,'  who  had  arrived  about  half  an  hour  before  I 
met  him,  I  began  at  once,  forgetful  alike  of  salutation  and 
everything  else,  to  make  inquiries  after  you.  I  confess,  how- 
ever, that  I  was  solicitous  about  your  safety,  in  proportion  to 
the  strength  of  the  fear  I  had,  lest  you  should  abandon  the 
Church  in  such  a  time  of  need,  as  usually  happens  when  mat- 
ters are  desperate  and  past  recovery;  or  rather  lest,  being  as  it 
were  deserted  by  your  flock,  you  should  betake  yourself  else- 
where;* for  it  is  difficult,  amid  so  great  darkness,  to  discern 
what  is  most  expedient.  Now,  howsoever  severe  the  trial  may 
have  been,  I  yet  rejoice  that  the  Lord  has  caused  the  spirit  of 
prudence  and  counsel  to  spring  up  in  you  and  your  fellow- 
ministers,  and  has  sustained  your  minds  with  the  spirit  of  for- 
titude, as  far  as  might  be  in  circumstances  not  the  best.  I  also 
give  God  thanks,  that  in  whatsoever  way  matters  have  been 
improved,  a  short  breathing  time  is  granted  you,  until  at  length 
tranquil  serenity  may  clearly  dawn  upon  you.  Meanwhile,  it  is 
proper  we  should  learn,  that  it  has  been  usual  with  God  in  all 
ages  to  preserve  his  own  Church  in  a  wonderful  way,  and 
without  human  protection.  Eelying  therefore  on  this  ground 
of  confidence,  let  us  strive  to  break  through  whatever  difficulty 
there  may  be,  and  let  us  never  lose  heart,  even  although  we 
should  be  destitute  of  all  things. 

Adieu,  most  upright  brother,  and  one  dear  to  me  from  the 

'  Named  pastor  of  the  Italian  church  at  Augshourg  in  October  1545,  Ochino  fled 
from  that  city  on  the  approach  of  the  imperial  army,  in  the  early  part  of  the  year 
1547. — Schelhom  Ergoetzliehkeiten,  vol.  iii.  pp.  1141,  1142. 

"  Wolfgang  Musculus  did  not  cease  to  proclaim  the  Gospel  in  Augsbourg  until  the 
church  in  which  he  preached  had  been  closed  by  order  of  the  emperor,  and  his  con- 
gregation dispersed.  He  was  himself  obliged  to  take  his  departure  the  year  following, 
(26th  June  1548.)— Meloh.  Ad.,  p.  381. 


110  MONSIEUR  DE   FALAIS.  [1547. 

bottom  of  my  heart,  as  also  your  fellow-ministers,  all  of  whom 
you  will  very  affectionately  salute  in  my  name.  May  the 
Lord  Jesus  be  present  with  you,  guide  you  by  his  Spirit,  and 
bless  your  holy  labours.  You  will  also  convey  to  your  family 
my  best  greeting. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

My  colleagues  also  reverently  salute  you  all.  If  any  oppor- 
tunity be  afforded  you,  you  will  make  me  aware  of  the  state 
of  your  affairs. 

[Lat.  (yrig.  autogr. — Library  of  Zoffingue.    Vol,  i.  p.  10.] 


CXCII. — To  Monsieur  de  Falais. 

Steps  taken  at  Basle  to  retract  a  promise  of  marriage  made  to  Valeran  Poulain. 

From  Geneva,  this  first  of  Mmj  [1547.] 

MoNSEiGNEUR, — I  wrote  to  Myconius,'  as  you  will  see  by  the 
copy  which  I  send  you.  I  was  of  opinion  that  it  was  enough, 
because  the  judges  will  better  comprehend  my  meaning  from 
his  mouth.  It  will  have  more  weight,  because  the  prosecution 
of  the  suit  will  not  thus  be  so  vehement  on  my  part,  as  if  I 
should  take  upon  me  to  write  to  them,  thus  making  myself  too 
much  a  party  in  the  matter.  I  believe  that  our  brother,  Master 
Peter  Yiret,  will  do  the  same  in  regard  to  the  Sieur  Bernard 
Mayer,  in  consequence  of  what  I  have  told  him.  Should  there 
be  any  need  for  it,  he  condemns  himself  of  treachery  in  the 
letters  which  he  has  written  to  me.  For  after  having  requested 
me,  in  the  month  of  January,  to  intercede  for  him  in  regard  to 
the  marriage  of  Merne,  he  has  told  me  that  Wilergy  was  in 
love  with  him  many  months  before :  so  much  so,  as  to  ask  him 
in  marriage,  rather  than  wait  to  be  asked.  How  is  that  to  be 
reconciled,  unless  he  wanted  to  have  both  of  them?     But  he 

•See  ante,  vol.  i.,  pp.  312,  313,  note.  Calvin  called  on  him  for  his  aid  with  the 
magistrates  of  that  town  for  having  a  promise  of  marriage  cancelled  between  Made- 
moiselle de  Wilergy  and  Valeran. — Bibl,  de  Geneve,  vol.  106. 


1547.]  FRANCIS   DRYANDER.  Ill 

must  be  cut  short  in  the  whole  of  this  troublesome  nonsense ; 
seeing  that  it  is  quite  unworthy  of  a  hearing.  I  have  no  doubt 
that  the  judges  will  very  soon  put  an  end  to  that. 

Monsieur,  having  heartily  commended  me  to  your  kind 
favour  and  that  of  Madame,  without  forgetting  the  three 
Demoiselles,  I  pray  our  good  Lord  to  have  you  in  his  keep- 
ing, to  confirm  you  always  in  patience,  to  deliver  you  from 
the  annoyance  of  this  importunate  suitor,  and  to  bring  you 
into  assured  prosperity. 

Your  servant  and  humble  brother, 

John  Calvin. 

[Fr.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.     Yol.  194.] 

CXCIII.— To  Francis  Dryander.' 

Confused  state  of  the  Church — hopes  and  fears  for  the  future. 

Geneva,  ISth  May  1547. 

Greeting: — It  would  not  require  a  letter  of  very  great 
length,  were  I  to  comply  with  your  request  to  write  to  you  at 
full  length  my  opinion  of  the  present  state  of  general  disorder  ; 
because  when  matters  are  in  so  great  confusion,  I  not  only  ab- 
stain from  passing  any  judgment,  but  I  do  not  even  venture  to 
inquire  into  what  may  be  the  issue  of  them.  For  as  often  as  I 
have  begun  the  attempt,  I  have  been  immediately  involved  in 
darkness  so  intense,  that  I  thought  it  better  to  close  my  eyes 
upon  the  world,  and  fix  them  intently  upon  God  alone.  I  only 
speak  of  myself,  as  I  am  here  situated.  Had  I  been  placed  in 
the  situation  which  some  others  occupy,  my  mode  of  procedure 

'  To  the  most  erudite  Doctor  Francis  Dryander,  and  very  dear  friend. 

Francis  Enzinas,  better  known  under  the  name  of  Dryander,  born  at  Burgos  in 
Spain,  was  the  disciple  of  Melanchthon,  and  embraced  the  Reformation  with  ardour. 
Imprisoned  for  having  published  a  translation  of  the  New  Testament  in  Spanish,  he 
recovered  his  liberty  in  1542,  and  visited  Calvin  at  Geneva.  Ho  afterwards  withdrew 
to  Strasbourg,  whence  he  passed  over  to  England,  after  the  adoption  of  the  Interim, 
and  occupied  a  chair  in  the  University  of  Oxford.  There  are  several  letters  of  Dry- 
ander to  Bullinger  (1549-1552,)  in  the  fine  collection  of  Zurich  Letters,  published  by 
the  Parker  Society,  1st  series,  Vol.  i.  p.  348,  and  following. 


112  FRANCIS  DEYANDER.  [1547. 

migbt  then  have  required  to  be  changed.  Besides,  I  cannot  from 
this  retreat  as  from  a  watch-tower  observe  the  circumstances 
that  go  to  the  formation  of  a  judgment.  And  if  anything 
reaches  me,  it  comes  late.  Further,  nothing  can  with  certainty 
be  determined,  until  the  whole  particulars  are  gathered  together. 
But  at  present  the  more  private  counsels,  from  which  an  opinion 
is  chiefly  to  be  formed,  are  unknown  to  me.  What  folly  then 
would  it  be  for  me  to  fatigue  myself  to  no  purpose  or  profit,  by 
occupying  my  attention  with  what  is  obscure !  "  What,"  there- 
fore, you  will  say,  "do  you  alone  wish  to  enjoy  undisturbed  quiet 
amid  the  ruins  of  the  Church?"  On  the  contrary,  I  sigh 
anxiously  night  and  day,  but  I  repel  as  much  as  I  can  all  need- 
less reflections  that  from  time  to  time  steal  upon  me.  I  do  not, 
nevertheless,  succeed  in  this  so  far  as  I  could  wish ;  it  is, 
however,  something,  that  I  do  not  indulge  a  prurient  disposi- 
tion. I  occupy  myself  in  considering  what  is  already  done; 
and  I  connect  matters  that  occur  from  day  to  day,  with  what 
preceded  them.  Eeflection  on  these  things  furnishes  me,  I 
confess,  with  various  grounds  both  of  hope  and  fear.  But  be- 
cause, as  I  have  said,  there  are  so  many  opposing  reasons,  I 
restrain  myself  in  good  time,  lest  I  say  anything  rashly  and 
beyond  what  is  proper.  The  prediction,  indeed,  which  you 
gave  in  your  letter,  will  never  deceive  us,  even  although  heaven 
and  earth  were  mingled  in  confusion  together,  viz.,  that  God 
will  take  so  peculiar  a  care  of  his  own  Church,  as  to  preserve 
it  even  amid  the  annihilation  of  the  whole  world.  Excuse  the 
brevity  of  this  epistle,  as  I  was  warned  a  little  before  supper 
of  the  departure  of  the  messenger.  [My]  brother  had  told  me 
before  raid-day,  that  he  was  ready  for  the  journey :  I  would 
not  have  written,  if  he  had  gone  so  soon.  He  returned  after 
three  o'clock:  I  had  thus  less  time  than  I  should  have  had. 
Adieu :  may  the  Lord  direct  you  by  his  Spirit,  and  preserve 
you  safe. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Protestant  Seminary  of  Strasbourg.] 


1547.]  MONSIEUR   DE   PALAIS.  118 


CXCIV.— To  Monsieur  de  Falais. 

The  sending  of  a  minister — perplexities  regarding  anticipated  events  in  Germany. 

From  Geneva,  this  ISth  May  1547. 

MoxsEiGNEUR, — Since  your  convenience  has  not  permitted 
your  coming  hither  as  we  had  hoped,  it  is  enough  if  God 
graciously  grants  you  health  where  you  are.  For  albeit  I 
might  desire  to  be  near  3'ou,  nevertheless  I  prefer  what  is  best 
for  you.  Concerning  the  man  of  whom  Maldonado  spoke  to 
you,  besides  the  knowledge  which  I  have  had  of  him  while  he 
has  been  here  I  have  made  inquiry  about  him  at  his  old  master, 
Gallars,  who  tells  me  that  he  found  him  very  leal  and  service- 
able. It  is  true,  that  he  would  not  reckon  him  qualified  to 
manage  great  affairs,  unless  one  should  instruct  and  set  him 
his  lesson;  but  that  in  the  carrying  out  of  whatsoever  he  shall 
be  commanded  to  do,  there  will  be  nothing  wanting,-  nay,  that 
he  will  even  be  vigilant.  And  even  as  regards  the  former 
quality,  I  do  not  undervalue  him.  For  a  staid  and  modest 
man  is  far  better,  than  one  who  is  overbold  and  venturesome. 
You  will  decide  according  to  the  turn  of  your  affairs,  in  order 
that  the  Sieur  d'Albiac  may  send  him;  and  thus  you  may  not 
remain  long  unprovided.  Moreover,  I  hope  that  God  has  rid 
5''0U  of  the  annoyances  wherewith  that  marplot'  has  been  so 
long  teasing  you.  That  done,  you  may  be  altogether  at  ease 
about  your  house. 

We  are  still  on  the  lookout  for  news  about  the  general  state 
of  the  church.  If  God  intends  so  sorely  to  afflict  us,  as  to  let 
loose  that  tyrant  upon  us,^  who  only  seeks  to  ruin  everything, 
we  must  be  quite  prepared  to  suffer.  Considering  that  He 
who  has  us  in  charge,  rules  in  the  midst  of  his  enemies,  it 
becomes  us  to  have  patience,  consoling  ourselves  in  the  assured 
hope,  that  in  the  end  he  will  confound  them.     But  yet  I  hope 

'  Valeran  Poulain.     See  pp.  101,  110. 

'  The  Emperor  Charles  the  Fifth  had  just  gained  a  decisive  victory  at  MUhlberg 
(24th  April  1647)  over  the  Protestant  princes. 
15 


114  MONSIEUR  DE   FALAIS.  [1547. 

that  he  will  provide  against  these  great  troubles,  supporting 
our  weakness;  and  that  he  will  check  the  boldness  of  those 
who  triumph  before  the  time,  and  that  against  himself. 

Monsieur,  having  humbly  commended  me  to  your  kind 
favour,  and  that  of  Madame,  and  having  presented  to  both  of 
you  the  remembrances  of  my  wife,  I  pray  our  good  Lord  to 
guide  you  continually,  to  watch  over  you  and  to  enlarge  you 
in  all  his  mercies.  I  abstain  from  entering  upon  the  proposal 
which  the  Sieur  Maldonado  has  brought  me,  about  settling  a 
church  in  that  quarter;' — for  I  know  not  what  to  say  about  it, 
except  that  I  would  desire  that  all  may  be  well  done. 
Your  servant  and  humble  brother, 

John  Calvin. 

[Fr.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  194.] 


CXCV. — To  Monsieur  de  Falais. 

Information  in  regard  to  a  house — advice  on  the  subject  of  a  marriage  proposed  for  & 
relative  of  Monsieur  de  Falais. 

From  Geneva,  this  26ii  of  May  1547. 

MoNSEiQNEUR, — I  hope  that  the  bearer  of  these  presents  will 
be  the  captain  of  our  town,^  from  whom  I  have  hired  the  house. 
He  has  a  mind  to  betake  himself  to  your  quarter,  in  order  to 
confer  with  you.  He  has  offered  me  an  alternative  condition. 
In  the  first  place:  should  it  please  you  to  lend  him  money  for  a 
certain  term,  that  the  house  shall  remain  pledged  to  you  in 
security  for  the  repayment,  without  paying  any  rent;  and  that 
of  the  repairs  which  you  may  make  for  your  convenience,  he 
shall  bear  a  part:  secondly,  that  he  should  sell  it  to  you.     It  is 

»  That  is  to  say,  at  Bale.  The  French  church  of  that  town  was  founded  after  the 
massacre  De  la  Saint  Barthelemy,  at  the  rea^uest  of  a  great  number  of  refugees,  among 
whom  we  find  the  children  of  the  Admiral  de  Coligny. — MSS.  of  the  archives  of  the 
French  Church  of  Bale. 

=  The  bearer  of  this  letter  was  the  captain-general,  Amy  Perrin,  then  on  his  way  to 
Bale.  He  had  been  charged  with  a  secret  mission  to  the  new  king  of  France,  Henry 
II.,  and  was  imprisoned  after  his  return  to  Geneva,  because  of  unfaithfulness  in  the 
fulfilment  of  his  commission. 


1547.]  MONSIEUR   DE   FALAIS.  115 

true  that  he  is  not  the  feudal  superior,  but  he  engages  at  all 
risks  to  maintain  and  warrant  you  in  the  sale  of  it  out  and  out. 
In  this  case,  he  must  have  three  hundred  crowns  for  it.  If 
your  intention  is  to  purchase,  you  will  discuss  the  price  with 
himself,  making  the  best  bargain  you  can.  It  is  very  certain, 
that  assuming  the  responsibility  of  keeping  it  in  repair,  he  will 
not  readily  give  it  for  two  hundred  crowns.  You  will  have  to 
choose  between  these  two  conditions,  and  to  arrange  with  him- 
self, if  you  see  it  to  be  for  your  advantage.  If  so  be  that  you 
do  not  enter  into  agreement  with  him,  I  have  told  you  already 
that  the  house  could  not  be  secured  to  you,  consequently  you 
would  need  to  look  about  elsewhere.  For  you  will  not  prevail  on 
him  to  put  it  into  a  proper  state  for  your  accommodation,  unless 
you  go  about  it  in  this  way.  And  in  good  earnest,  if  you  pur- 
pose to  come  here  about  the  end  of  summer,  I  advise  you  to 
endeavour  that  the  repairs  may  be  made  before  your  arrival,  to 
avoid  having  your  heads  broken,  and  many  other  inconveni- 
ences. I  believe  that  the  plan  I  have  laid  down  would  please 
you  very  well,  so  that  your  absence  need  be  no  hindrance,  and 
it  will  be  quite  easy  to  have  the  thing  done.  He  does  not 
think  much  repair  is  needed,  but  I  suspect  it  will  not  amount 
to  less  than  forty  crowns.  Wherefore,  the  purchase  would 
seem  to  me  more  expedient,  especially  if  you  could  agree  at 
two  hundred  crowns,  and  that  he  would  take  upon  himself  to 
warrant  in  perpetuity.  I  desire  that  you  may  do  something 
in  this  matter,  provided  it  be  to  your  advantage. 

The  Sieur  de  Parey'  arrived  last  evening,  and  came  to  call 
for  me  about  nine  o'clock.  As  it  was  rather  late,  we  had 
scarcely  leisure  to  speak  together,  so  that  I  do  not  yet  know 
the  position  of  his  affairs.  After  having  spoken  to  Sieur  Mal- 
donado,  I  would  advise  that  you  only  inform  the  girl  of  the 
nature  of  the  objection,  without  mentioning  to  her  any  mishap 
which  may  have  occurred  to  him ;  for  all  that  would  be  told 
over  again  afterwards.  Therefore,  I  would  merely  let  her  un- 
derstand :  "  He  sleeps  little,  there  is  somewhat  of  levity  about 
him,  wherefore  some  danger  might  be  apprehended  from  his 
peculiar  constitution.     Consider,  then,  whether  you  would  be 

'  A  pretender  to  the  hand  of  Mademoiselle  de  Wilergy. 


116  viRET.  [1547. 

patient  if  God  were  to  visit  you  with  such  a  trial."  That,  in 
my  opinion,  would  be  sufficient.  And  according  as  you  shall 
see  her  disposed,  you  will  do  what  you  think  right  in  the 
matter.  We  have  had  some  report  of  the  decision,  and  he,' 
complaining  of  the  sentence  of  the  judges,  glories  in  his  shame. 
May  God  give  him  a  better  mind. 

Monsieur,  having  humbly  commended  me  to  the  kind  favour 
of  yourself  and  of  Madame;  and  having  presented  to  you  the 
remembrances  of  Des  Gallars  and  of  my  wife,  I  pray  our  good 
Lord  to  have  you  always  in  his  keeping,  to  rule  and  guide  you, 
and  bestow  grace  upon  you  to  glorify  him  always. 

It  is  enough  that  you  be  informed  who  the  bearer  is.  I  do 
not  know  if  he  will  have  other  company  along  with  him,  for  he 
went  away  in  such  haste,  that  without  having  spoken  of  it  to 
me,  he  came  this  morning  all  booted  and  spurred,  to  bid  me 
adieu.  You  see  what  has  been  the  cause  of  my  not  having 
been  able  to  communicate  with  Maldonado,  for  he  went  away 
yesterday  evening  to  sleep  at  Tournd.  That  is  also  the  reason 
wherefore  I  have  not  sent  you  any  compliments  from  him. 
Your  servant  and  humble  brother, 

John  Calvin". 

[Fr.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  194.] 


CXCYI.— To  YiRET. 

Interview  of  Calvin  with  a  senator  of  Berne — advantage  secured  over  the  party  of  the 

Libertins. 

Geneva,  28<7i  J/a^   1547. 

Zerkinden'  was  here.  I  laid  bare  the  ailments,  and  at  the 
same  time  suggested  the  remedy  of  which  we  had  spoken  to- 
gether.' He  approved  of  it,  but  he  thinks  it  will  be  difficult 
to  obtain  it.  If,  however,  he  come  to  Berne  in  time,  he  will 
make  trial ;  for  he  admits  that,  in  such  an  emergency,  there  is 

'  Valeran  Poulain.     See  note  1,  p.  113. 

"  Nicolas  Zerkinden,  senator  of  Berne,  prefect  of  the  town  of  Nyon. 

'  The  establishment  of  discipline  in  the  churches  of  the  Pays  de  Vaud. 


1547.]  viRET.  117 

nothing  that  should  not  be  attempted.  I  am,  however,  afraid 
that  others  may  be  sent  thither  before  him,  who,  as  is  usual 
with  them,  after  making  a  great  display,  will  perform  nothing. 
Thus,  what  has  been  for  long  desired  will  be  granted  too  late. 
But  may  God  look  to  this,  as  to  all  other  matters ! 

We  had  here  lately  some  1  ittle  trouble  about  slashed  breeches.' 
This  was  the  pretext,  but  they  had  already  begun  to  break  out 
into  the  greatest  license.  When  the  Two  Hundred  had  been 
summoned  at  their  request,  we  were  all  present.  I  made  a 
speech,  which  in  a  moment  extorted  from  them  what  with  firm 
expectation  they  had  eagerly  swallowed;  fori  discoursed  about 
sources  of  corruption  in  general,  premising  that  I  was  not 
speaking  against  these  trumperies.  They  fall  into  a  rage,  and 
gnash  with  their  teeth,  as  they  do  not  dare  openly  to  shout. 
By  this  one  experiment,  however,  they  learned,  what  they  had 
not  supposed  to  be  the  case,  that  the  people  are  on  our  side. 
The  tragic  Cassar  hastily  set  off  on  a  journey  the  following 
day,  to  avoid  being  present  at  the  public  procession,  which  that 
meeting  rendered  hazardous  and  puerile,  whereas  he  was  hoping 
that  it  would  be  the  token  of  a  certain  supreme  authority. 
He  had  returned  to  terms  of  friendship  with  Eomanel,  with  a 
view  to  concuss  the  whole  city,  with  no  one  to  interpose.  We, 
however,  have  unexpectedly  shattered  all  his  plans.  Thus 
does  God  make  sport  of  those  Thrasoes  ! 

Adieu,  brother  and  most  sincere  friend.  May  the  Lord  be 
continually  present  with  you,  and  bless  and  prosper  your  la- 
bours. You  will  hear  the  rest  from  Rebitti.  Salute  your  wife 
in  the  name  of  me  and  mine. — Yours, 

John  Oalvin". 

\Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  106.] 

•  An  ordinance  had  recently  interdicted  the  use  of  slashed  breeches  at  Geneva. 
The  reason  which  Calvin  gives  for  this  prohibition  may  be  seen  in  a  subsequent  letter 
to  the  faithful  of  France,  (2-tth  July  1547.) 


118  MONSIEUR  DE  FALAIS.  [1547. 


CXCVII.— To  Monsieur  de  Falais. 

Recommendation  of  John  de  Bude — Uncertainty  of  the  news  from  Germany. 

From  Geneva,  the  4ih  of  June  1547. 

MoNSEiGNEUR, — I  have  nothing  to  write  you  at  present,  ex- 
cept that  the  bearer  is  one  of  the  sons  of  the  late  Mr.  Bud^.' 
When  you  shall  have  made  his  acquaintance,  you  will  find  him 
so  excellent,  that  you  will  esteem  him  worthy  of  being  loved  by 
all  those  who  love  God,  even  if  the  memory  of  his  father  had 
not  of  itself  recommended  him.  He  is  none  of  those  who  make 
a  great  show  and  parade.  And  all  the  more  on  that  account  is 
he  valued  by  me,  and  I  know  that  so  it  will  be  with  you.  His 
intention  is  to  go  to  see  Bale  and  Strasbourg,  then  to  return 
without  making  any  long  sojourn  in  those  parts.  Notwith- 
standing, I  have  advised  him  to  make  full  inquiry  whether  the 
roads  will  be  safe  before  going  further,  and  he  has  promised 
me  to  do  so ;  for  where  there  is  no  necessity,  it  would  answer 
no  purpose  to  put  himself  in  danger.  I  believe  that  before  he 
arrives  there,  you  will  be  no  longer  in  deliberation  with  regard 
to  Sieur  de  Parey.  For  the  prolonged  delay  which  he  asks 
for,  is  by  no  means  with  a  view  to  strengthen  his  resolution ; 
and  indeed  I  conjecture,  that  it  has  been  cautiously  suggested 
by  his  relations,  thinking  that  between  this  time  and  that  he 
might  alter  his  mind,  seeing  that  they  must  be  acquainted 
with  his  humour. 

We  are  quite  amazed  to  have  no  news  that  can  be  depended 
upon.  One  may  perceive  the  disorder  which  prevails  in  Ger- 
many, and  the  wretched  management.  If  there  had  been  a 
grain  of  salt  among  them,  they  would  have  looked  well  to  their 
affairs,  before  they  came  to  the  knowledge  of  that  which  was 
to  be  known  far  and  wide  three  days  afterwards.  But  what  do 
I  say  ?  N'on  est  co7isiUu7n,  non  est  fortitudo  absque  domino. 
Therefore  they  are  taken  unawares. 

'  John  de  Bude,  Siour  de  Verace.     See  note  1,  p.  90. 


1547.]  MONSIEUR   DE  BUDK.  119 

I  hope  to  know  by  the  first  what  decision  you  have  come  to 
with  our  captain,' 

To  make  an  end,  Monsieur;  having  humbly  commended  me 
to  your  good  grace  and  of  Madame,  and  having  presented  the 
like  remembrances  to  you  on  the  part  of  ray  wife  and  others, 
I  supplicate  our  good  Lord  always  to  have  a  care  of  you,  to 
rule  you  by  his  Spirit,  to  strengthen  you  against  all  stumbling- 
blocks  and  annoyances,  as  well  as  the  whole  of  your  household. 
Although  I  have  not  leisure  to  write  to  the  young  ladies,  I 
desire  to  be  very  affectionately  remembered  to  all  three. 
Your  servant  and  humble  brother, 

John  Calvin. 

[Fr.  cn'ig,  autogr. — Llhrarij  of  Geneva.    Vol.  194.] 


CXCYIII.— To  Monsieur  de  Bude.» 

He  exhorts  him  to  follow  the  example  of  the  rest  of  his  family,  and  retire  to  Geneva. 

Tkia  im  June  1547. 

Monsieur, — Although  I  am  personally  unknown  to  you,  I 
do  not  hesitate  on  that  account  to  write  you  privately,  hoping 
that  my  letter  will  be  welcome,  as  well  for  the  sake  of  the 
Master  whom  I  serve,  as  for  the  matter  of  which  it  treats;  and 

'Amy  Pcrrin. 

'  See  the  notice  concerning  the  family  of  Bude,  p.  90.  We  believe,  contrary  to  the 
opinion  of  M.  GalifTe,  Notices  GiniahxjIquM,  torn.  iii.  p.  83,  that  this  letter  is  addressed 
to  Louis  or  to  Francis  Bude,  and  not  to  John  de  Bude,  Sieur  de  Verace,  their  brother. 
This  latter  had  already  made  a  journey  to  Geneva,  and  he  was  known  to  the  Reformer, 
who  had  introduced  him  in  very  kind  terms  to  M.  de  Falais. — Letter  of  4th  Juno  1547, 
p.  118.  It  is  not  then  to  the  Sieur  de  Verace,  that  the  first  words  of  Calvin's  letter 
can  apply,  but  to  one  of  his  brothers :  "  Although  I  am  personally  unknown  to  you,  I 
do  not  on  that  account  hesitate  to  write  you  privately,  in  the  hope  that  my  letter  will 
be  welcome,"  &o.  The  family  of  Bude  were  then  preparing  to  leave  France.  Two 
years  afterwards,  they  settled  at  Geneva,  as  appears  from  their  registration  in  the 
list  of  the  inhabitants,  27th  June  1549,  and  the  following  passage  of  a  letter  from 
Viret  to  Calvin,  12th  June  of  the  same  year:  "/  rejoice  that  the  Budi  have  arrived, 
along  wiih  their  mother." — MSS.  of  the  Library  of  Geneva. 


120  "  MONSIEUR   DE   BUDE.  1547.] 

also  that  those  who  have  induced  me  to  do  so,  have  credit 
enough  with  you,  as  I  believe  they  have,  to  secure  me  access, 
I  have  heard  of  the  upright  spirit  which  our  Lord  has  given 
you,  wherefore  let  us  all  praise  him.  For  although  you  may 
have  many  temptations  of  a  worldly  kind  where  you  are,  to 
impede  and  distract  you,  yoil  nevertheless  do  not  cease  to  groan 
under  the  unhappy  captivity  in  which  you  are  held,  desiring  to 
escape  from  it.  And  indeed  your  honest  zeal  has  been  already 
partially  manifested,  when,  in  place  of  hindering  the  party  who 
were  about  to  shift  their  quarters,  you  confirmed  them  in  their 
good  purpose,  and  instead  of  delaying,  have  endeavoured  to 
forward  their  departure,  only  regretting  that  you  could  not 
follow  them  immediately.  Now,  then,  seeing  that  Satan  has 
many  means  to  damp  our  zeal  in  well-doing,  and  that  our 
nature  is  very  apt  to  side  with  him,  you  must  stir  up  the  fire 
which  God  by  his  Spirit  has  already  lighted  in  your  heart,  until 
the  good  desire  be  realized.  You  must  abandon  everything  as 
hurtful  which  separates  you  from  him,  in  whom  lies  all  our 
happiness,  and  with  whom  if  we  are  not  united,  we  forfeit  life 
and  salvation.  We  do  not  mean,  however,  to  condemn  all 
those  who  live  elsewhere,  as  if  the  kingdom  of  God  were  shut 
up  within  our  mountains,  while  we  know  it  is  extended  over 
all.  But  it  is  right,  wheresoever  we  are,  that  God  should  be 
honoured  by  us,  and  we  are  nowise  to  be  excused,  if  we  pollute 
the  earth  which  he  has  sanctified  to  our  use.  If  we  are  in  a 
place  where  we  are  not  permitted  to  acquit  ourselves  of  our 
duty,  and  where  the  fear  of  death  leads  us  to  do  what  is  evil, 
we  ought,  knowing  our  grievous  infirmity,  to  seek  the  remedy: 
which  is,  to  withdraw  from  such  bondage.  Since  our  Lord  has 
opened  your  eyes  to  let  you  see  what  an  evil  it  is  to  defile  your- 
self with  superstition,  it  only  remains  for  you  to  come  forth 
of  it.  Besides,  you  have  less  excuse  than  another,  considering 
the  position  which  you  hold,  for  the  reckoning  will  be  twofold, 
if  instead  of  shewing  the  way,  as  you  are  bound  to  do,  you 
give  occasion  to  those  who  see  you,  to  step  aside  out  of  it. 

As  for  the  other  difficulties  which  are  peculiar  to  your  pre- 
sent circumstances,  I  refer  myself  to  your  own  experience. 
More  than  all  that,  you  have  to  consider  that  if  the  good  lady 


1547.]  MONSIEUR   DE   BUDE.  121 

with  just  reason  dreaded  to  finish  the  remainder  of  her  life 
there,  you  may  well  fear  a  longer  period  of  languishing,  accord- 
ing to  the  ordinary  course  of  nature.  There  is  assuredly  no 
to-morrow  that  we  can  make  ourselves  sure  of.  Therefore,  on 
the  other  hand,  you  ought  to  mal^e  the  greater  haste,  for  fear 
you  should  be  taken  unawares.  You  see,  therefore,  that  God 
is  urging  you  in  every  way.  Howsoever  the  matter  may  be 
settled,  I  pray  you,  Monsieur,  not  to  allow  the  grace  which  God 
has  given  you  to  be  quenched.  If  he  has  given  you  worldly 
riches,  have  a  care  lest  in  place  of  rendering  them  in  homage 
to  him,  you  may  be  hindered  by  them  from  serving  him.  I 
need  not  tell  you,  that  he  has  given  you  a  help  which  every 
one  has  not.  This  is,  that  you  have  a  Sarah  who  will  be  ready 
to  follow  you,  whithersoever  that  kind  Father  shall  call  you ; 
so  that  it  depends  upon  yourself  alone  whether  or  not  you  shall 
follow  the  example  of  our  flither  Abraham.  It  is  quite  true 
that  you  will  find  no  spot  on  earth  where  you  can  be  beyond 
the  reach  of  trial,  as  indeed  it  is  not  reasonable  to  expect  our 
faith  to  be  exempt  from  these  anxieties.  But  since  the  present 
is  a  time  of  conflict,  there  is  nothing  better  for  us  than  to  fall 
back  upon  our  standard,  where  we  may  receive  courage  to  do 
battle  steadfastly  even  unto  death.  It  is  an  advantage  not  to 
be  despised,  when  God  gives  us  leisure  to  confirm  our  faith, 
that  the  preparation  may  be  of  service  to  us  in  due  time  and 
place.  For  this  ought  to  be  quite  enough  for  us,  when  he  arms 
us  with  his  strength  for  victory,  before  putting  us  to  the  proof. 
But  seeing  that  the  very  beginnings  are  difficult,  and  perse- 
verance still  more  so,  the  best  resource  is  to  pray  God  that  he 
would  stretch  out  his  hand  to  you,  and  give  you  courage  to 
surmount  all  obstacles.  To  which  end  we  also  would  beseech 
him  along  with  you,  that  he  would  please  to  shew  himself 
your  protector  even  unto  the  end,  upholding  you  not  only 
against  the  wicked,  but  also  against  Satan  their  chief.  Having 
humbly  commended  me  to  your  good  favour,  and  to  that  of 

Madame  your  wife 

John  Calvin. 

[F;\  copy — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  111.] 
16  I 


122  viRET.  [1547. 


CXCIX.— To  YiRET. 

Citation  of  the  wife  of  Amy  Perrin  before  the  Consistory — case  of  Gruet — news  from 

Germany. 

2d  July  1547. 

We  must  now  fight  in  earnest.  The  wife  of  the  comedian 
Ca3sar  Avas  again  summoned  to  the  Consistory,  on  account  of 
her  frowardness.'  While  there,  though  she  received  no  provo- 
cation, in  the  form  even  of  too  harsh  a  word,  she  vomited  forth 
more  venom  than  on  any  previous  occasion.  First  of  all,  she 
denied  the  right  of  our  court  to  take  cognizance  of  her,  even 
supposing  she  had  been  guilty  of  a  delinquency.  In  the  next 
place,  she  complained  that  she  was  deeply  branded  with  igno- 
miny, by  being  compelled  to  appear  in  a  place  to  which  the 
depraved  and  criminal  could  alone  of  right  be  summoned. 
When  one  of  the  assessors  sought  to  restrain  her  intemperate 
behaviour,  she  turned  her  fury  upon  him.  Abel  then  inter- 
posed, and  expressed  his  surprise  that  she  had  at  first  pro- 
fessed that  she  was  too  modest,  or  too  little  given  to  speaking, 
to  be  able  to  answer  at  greater  length,  whereas  she  was  a 
match  in  abuse  for  as  many  as  there  might  be.  At  this  her 
fury  boiled  all  over.  "  No,  indeed,"  she  says,  "  but  you  are  a 
reviler,  who  unscrupulously  slandered  my  father.  Begone, 
coarse  swine-herd,  you  are  a  malicious  liar  1"  She  would  have 
almost  overwhelmed  us  by  her  thunders,  had  she  not  been 
forcibly  extruded.  The  Senate  desired  that  she  should  be 
more  closely  imprisoned.  She  escaped  by  means  of  that  matron 
who  is  wont  to  take  under  her  patronage  all  bad  causes.  One 
of  her  sons  accompanied  her  in  her  flight.  Accidentally  meeting 
Abel  not  far  from  the  city  gate,  she  insulted  him  afresh,  and 
even  more  shamelessly  than  before.  Abel  said  nothing,  but 
conducted  himself  with  the  greatest  moderation,  just  as  he  had 
done  in  the  Consistory.  Next  day  a  paper  is  found  in  the 
pulpit,  threatening  us  with  death,  unless  we  remain  silent.     I 

'  "  Complaint  of  Calvin  against  the  wife  of  Amy  Perrin,  who  insulted  the  minister 
Abel  in  full  Consistory." — liegisters  of  Council,  21th  June. 


1547.]  VIRET.  123 

send  a  copy  of  it  to  you,'  The  Senate,  startled  by  such  audacity, 
orders  a  rigid  inquiry  to  be  made  into  the  conspiracy.  The  in- 
vestigation is  committed  to  a  few.  As  many  suspected  Gruet, 
he  was  immediately  arrested.'^  It  was,  however,  a  different  hand ; 
but  while  they  were  turning  over  his  papers,  much  wasdiscovered 
that  was  not  less  capital.  There  was  a  humble  petition  which 
be  had  designed  to  present  to  the  people  in  the  Assemblies,  in 
which  he  contended  that  no  offence  should  be  punished  by  the 
laws  but  what  was  injurious  to  the  state;  for  that  such  was  the 
practice  of  the  Venetians,  who  were  the  highest  authority  in 
the  matter  of  government;  and  that  in  truth  there  was  danger, 
while  this  city  submitted  to  be  ruled  by  the  brain  of  one  man 
of  melancholy  temperament,  of  a  thousand  citizens  being  de- 
stroyed in  the  event  of  any  outbreak.  Letters  were  also  found, 
chiefly  written  to  Andr^  Philippe,  and  to  others.  In  some  he 
named  me;  at  other  times,  he  had  enveloped  me  in  figures  of 
speech,  so  clumsily  contrived,  however,  that  one  could  lay  his 
finger  on  what  he  meant  to  conceal.  There  were,  besides,  two 
pages  in  Latin,  in  which  the  whole  of  Scripture  is  laughed  at, 
Christ  aspersed,  the  immortality  of  the  soul  called  a  dream  and  a 
fable,  and  finally  the  whole  of  religion  torn  in  pieces.  I  do 
not  think  he  is  the  author  of  it;  but  as  it  is  in  his  handwriting, 
he  will  be  compelled  to  appear  in  his  defence,  although,  it  may 
be,  that  he  himself  has  thrown  into  the  form  of  a  memorandum, 
according  to  the  turn  of  his  own  genius,  what  he  heard  from 
others ;  for  there  are  mutilated  sentences,  crammed  with  sole- 


'  The  import  of  this  note,  written  in  the  Savoyard  language,  and  affixed  to  the 
pulpit  of  the  ministers,  was,  "that  people  did  not  wish  to  have  so  many  masters; 
that  they  (the  ministers)  had  now  gone  far  enough  in  their  course  of  censure ;  that 
the  renegade  monks  like  them  had  done  nothing  more  than  afflict  all  the  world  in 
this  way ;  that  if  they  persisted  in  their  course,  people  would  be  reduced  to  such  a 
condition  that  they  would  curse  the  hour  in  which  thej'  emerged  from  the  rule  of 
monachisra;  and  that  they  (the  ministers)  should  take  care  lest  as  much  should  bo 
done  to  them  as  was  done  to  the  Canon  Vernly  of  Fribourg."  The  last  passage  was 
equivalent  to  a  threat  of  death. 

"  The  former  canon,  Jacques  Gruet,  of  dissolute  manners,  of  licentious  and  per- 
verse  doctrine,  constantly  opposed  to  the  ministers,  and  intolerant  of  all  rule  in 
the  Church  aa  in  the  State,  had  lain  under  the  imputation  of  having  been  the 
instigator  of  the  attempt  at  poisoning  Viret  in  1535. — Histoire  de  la  Suisse,  vol. 
xi.  p.  364. 


124  viRET.  [1547. 

cisms  and  barbarisms.  ^  I  know  not  whether  Jacoba,  whose  sister 
is  the  wife  of  Des  Gallars,  has  been  apprehended.  There  is, 
indeed,  a  decree  of  the  Senate  [for  that  purpose.]  What 
Vandel's  sentence  will  be  is  still  doubtful;  but  he  is  in  consi- 
derable danger.'  Such  was  the  state  of  things  when  I  wrote. 
You  know  that  our  Syndics  have  little  enough  judgment,  other-  ■ 
wise  the  Senate  is  exceedingly  well  disposed  to  the  cause. 

The  brethren  have  replied  to  me  regarding  Sonnier,  that 
they  mean  to  make  no  change  in  their  former  resolution ;  for 
I  relaxed,  as  I  had  abstained  from  writing,  with  a  view  to 
spare  him.  He  eagerly  made  reference  to  the  minister  De 
Coppet,  who  also  wished  to  change  his  place.  I  advise  you 
to  examine  whether  there  is  any  truth  in  this. 

The  statements  contained  in  Bucer's  letter  regarding  those 
two  victories  are  quite  certain;  for  a  friend  of  mine^  passed 
through  this,  who  had  ascertained  the  truth  of  the  whole 
matter.  He  also  informed  me  that  tidings  of  a  third  victory 
had  been  brought  away  within  two  hours  before  he  left  Stras- 
bourg; but  he  did  not  venture  to  assert  this  for  certain.  He 
further  mentioned  to  me,  that  when  the  Landgrave  had  come 
to  Leipsic  on  the  strength  of  the  promise  made  to  him,  he 
returned  without  accomplishing  the  matter,  and  in  despair,  and 
that  he  was  collecting  a  new  army.  The  name  of  Henry  ^  was 
erroneously  given  in  Bucer's  letter;  for  the  Landgrave  still 
keeps  him  in  fetters,  or  at  least  closely  imprisoned.  But  Bucer 
was  speaking  of  Erich,'*  who  professes  the  same  doctrine  with 
ourselves,  and  yet  hires  himself  to  the  tyrant  in  disturbing 
the  Church.  I  wish  that  your  Senate  could  be  induced  to 
take  the  initiative  in  the  stipulated  treaty;  for  Pharaoh  wishes 
to  be  asked,  and  thinks  it  unbecoming  his  dignity  to  solicit  the 

'  Pierre  Vandel,  one  of  the  chief  of  the  reprobate  children  of  Geneva.  Hand- 
some and  brilliant,  he  loved  to  exhibit  himself  surrounded  by  valets  and  courtezans, 
with  rings  on  his  fingers,  and  his  breast  covered  with  gold  chains.  He  had  beea 
imprisoned  on  account  of  his  debaucheries,  and  his  insolent  behaviour  before  the  Con- 
sistory. 

*  Doctor  Chelius,  in  the  handwriting  of  Calvin. 

^  Henry  of  Brunswick. 

•*  The  personage  here  designated  is  doubtless  Erich,  hereditary  prince  of  Sweden, 
who  ascended  the  throne  in  1560,  and  was  deposed  in  1568, 


1547.]  MONSIEUR  DE  FALAIS.  125 

weaker  parties.^  But  let  them  look  to  these  and  other  matters, 
that  are  now  in  course  of  arrangement.  I  desire  nothing  to 
be  done,  unless  what  I  judge  to  be  fitting  and  useful  to  you. 

Adieu,  brother  and  most  sincere  friend,  along  with  your 
wife  and  your  whole  family.  May  the  Lord  always  direct  you 
and  be  present  with  you.  You  will  salute  the  brethren  re- 
spectfully in  my  name.  I  and  my  wife  salute  thee  and  thine 
in  the  Lord. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  106.] 


CC. — To  Monsieur  de  Falais. 

Solemn  lessons  afforded  by  the  skd  occurrences  in  Germany — troubles  in  Geneva — 
energetic  attitude  of  Calvin. 

ThisUthof  July  15i7. 

Monseigneur, — From  what  you  have  written  me,  I  am 
certainly  of  opinion  that  our  brother,  Master  Francis  de  la 
Riviere,^  should  withdraw  at  least  for  a  season.  For  should 
it  so  be  that  it  suited  him  to  return  hither,  he  would  not  have 
to  make  a  long  journey :  and  bringing  with  him  some  recom- 
mendation from  Bale,  he  might  make  application  at  Berne  to 
be  sent  to  Lausanne,  with  some  provision  in  the  meantime.  I 
should  not  however  have  come  to  this  resolution,  unless  your 
letter  had  helped  me  to  it.  I  have  merely  told  him  that  you 
would  be  glad  of  his  coming,  in  order  that  your  famil}^  might 
receive  instruction  from  him  several  times  in  the  week.  For 
I  desired  to  avoid  any  more  definite  engagement,  that  you 
might  remain  at  perfect  liberty  in  that  matter. 

'  a  common  interest  at  that  time  conciliated  the  King  of  France  and  the  Swiss. 
The  ambassadors  of  Henry  IL,  Brissac  and  Marillnc,  assured  Geneva  of  the  friend- 
ship of  the  King,  and  took  in  charge  letters  of  Calvin  to  the  Helvetic  Churches. — 
Hietoire  ch  la  Sui«i>e,  vol.  xi.  p.  358. 

"  The  minister  Francis  Perucel,  called  La  Riviere. 


126  MONSIEUR   DE   FALAIS.  [1547. 

With  regard  to  the  house,  I  beg  you  will  inform  me  what 
you  wish  me  to  do  about  it.  But  let  me  have  your  letter  by 
the  middle  of  August.  For  according  to  the  use  and  wont  of 
the  town,  I  have  leave  to  renounce  the  bargain  for  the  follow- 
ing half  year,  giving  intimation  to  that  effect  six  weeks  before 
the  term.  By  doing  this,  you  will  not  be  burdened  with  need- 
less expense;  while  I  fear  that  by  holding  it  for  a  longer 
period,  you  may  incur  outlay  without  return. 

I  believe  Saint  Andre  has  told  you  what  we  have  done  with 
the  Apology.  The  printing  shall  not  be  delayed  for  want  of 
copy.  As  for  the  money,  I  am  not  of  opinion  that  you  ought 
to  withdraw  any  of  it  merely  to  avoid  the  murmurs  which 
might  thence  arise,  but  rather,  that  enjoining  those  who  have 
the  charge  thereof,  to  apply  it  as  they  ought — correcting 
abuses,  if  there  be  any,  you  should  depute  some  one  to  act  for 
you  in  the  matter.  However,  you  will  determine  that  accord- 
ing to  your  own  discretion.  But  I  did  not  like  to  withhold 
what  occurred  to  me,  seeing  that  you  have  been  pleased  to 
consult  me  on  the  subject. 

We  have  had  no  news  from  Germany  since  the  capture  of 
the  Landgrave,'  who  has  been  suitably  rewarded  for  his  base- 
ness. In  the  present  position  of  affairs,  I  recognize  our  God's 
intention  utterly  to  deprive  us  of  a  triumphant  Gospel,  that  he 
may  constrain  us  to  fight  under  the  cross  of  our  Lord  Jesus. 
But  let  us  be  content  that  he  return  to  the  early  method  of  his 
dealings,  in  the  miraculous  preservation  of  his  Church  by  his 
own  power,  without  the  help  of  an  arm  of  flesh.  The  trial  is 
hard,  I  confess ;  but  our  fathers  have  had  the  like,  quite  as 
depressing,  and  have  never  been  shaken  in  their  stability. 
Now  is  the  time  to  put  in  practice  the  proverb,  "  Let  us  hope 
and  we  shall  see."  Besides,  we  need  not  be  astonished  that 
God  has  corrected  us  thus  roughly,  considering  the  life  we  have 
led.  But  as  you  say,  may  those  who  have  not  hitherto  been 
touched,  take  note  of  such  examples,  that  they  may  humble 

'  Intimidated  by  the  defeat  of  the  Elector  of  Saxony,  the  Landgrave  of  Hesse 
had  submitted  himself  to  the  Emperor,  and  only  obtained  his  pardon  by  imploring 
it  upon  his  knees,  and  surrendering  his  person  and  states  into  the  power  of  this 
prince. 


1547.]  MONSIEUR   DE   FALAIS.  127 

themselves,   and   by   that   means   prevent   the   hand   of  the 
Jadge. 

There  has  been  some  want  of  consideration  on  the  part  of 
the  commissioners  from  this  town,  in  not  informing  me  of  their 
departure.  However,  I  do  not  give  up  the  expectation  of  tid- 
ings from  you  by  them.  I  do  not  know  whether  any  report  of 
our  troubles  has  yet  reached  you,  but  they  talk  of  them  so 
loudly  throughout  the  neighbouring  country,  that  it  would 
appear  all  is  over  with  us.  More  than  that,  they  have  often 
had  me  dead,  or  at  least  sorely  wounded.  Be  that  as  it  may,  I 
feel  nothing  of  it  myself.  And  in  the  town  we  are  not  aware 
of  the  hundredth  part  of  what  is  said.  There  have,  indeed, 
been  some  m\irmuring  and  threats  on  the  part  of  loose-living 
persons,  who  cannot  endure  discipline.  Even  the  wife  of  him 
who  was  to  go  to  see  you,'  and  who  wrote  to  you  from  Berne, 
rebelled  very  proudly.  But  it  has  been  necessary  that  she 
should  betake  herself  to  the  country,  feeling  herself  but  ill  at 
ease  in  town.  The  others,  indeed,  lower  the  head,  in  place  of 
lifting  up  the  horn;  and  there  is  one  of  them  who  is  in  danger 
of  paying  a  very  heavy  reckoning;  I  know  not  even  whether  it 
may  not  cost  him  his  life.*  The  young  people  think  that  I 
press  them  too  hard.  But  if  the  bridle  were  not  held  with  a 
firm  hand,  that  would  be  the  pity.  Yea,  we  must  look  to  their 
wellbeing,  however  distasteful  to  them  it  may  be. 

Monsieur,  having  humbly  commended  me  to  your  kind 
favour  and  that  of  Madame,  I  pray  our  good  Lord  that  he  may 
have  you  always  in  his  keeping,  strengthening  you  by  his 
Holy  Spirit  to  resist  all  temptations,  and  making  you  abound 
in  all  well-doing  to  his  honour.     And  seeing  that  the  time  of 


'Amy  Perrin.  His  wife,  daughter  of  a  rich  burgess,  Francois  Favre  d'Echallens, 
and  reprimanded  incessantly  by  the  Consistory,  was  the  implacable  enemy  of  the 
ministers  and  of  Calvin. 

'Jacques  Gruet,  formerly  a  Canon,  and  a  man  of  licentious  and  irregular  morals, 
impatient  of  all  restraint  either  of  Church  or  State.  Severely  censured  by  the  minis- 
ters on  account  of  his  debaucheries,  he  had  uttered  threats  of  death  against  them, 
which  he  even  ventured  to  affix  to  the  pulpit  of  St.  Peter's  Church.  His  trial,  con- 
ducted with  all  the  rigour  of  that  period,  terminated  by  a  sentence  of  capital  punish- 
ment. Condemned  for  sedition,  blasphemy,  and  atheism,  he  perished  ou  the  scaffold 
the  26th  July  1547. 


123  viRET.  [1547. 

the  trial  of  Madame  draws  near,  we  shall  remember  her  in 
prayer  for  her  happy  delivery.     My  wife  also  presents  her 
humble  remembrance  to  both  of  you. 
Your  servant  and  humble  brother, 

John  Calvin. 

[Fr.  orig.  autngr. — Library  of  Geneva.     Yol.  194.] 


CCI.— To   YlEET.^ 

Indecision  of  the  Seigneurs  of  Geneva — inflexibility  of /IJalvin. 

Geneva,  2itli  July  1547. 

There  is  nothing  new  in  our  affairs.  The  Syndics  protract 
the  case  of  Gruet  against  the  will  of  the  Senate,  which  does 
not,  however,  as  would  be  proper,  utter  any  protest  against  the 
delay.  For  you  know  that  few  of  them  are  judicious.  I  exer- 
cise my  severity  in  dislodging  common  vices,  and  principally 
the  sources  of  corruption  among  the  youth.  I  conceal  all  sense 
of  the  dangers  which  good  men  from  several  quarters  allege  to 
exist,  lest  I  should  appear  over  solicitous  about  myself.  The 
Lord  will  give  the  issue  in  the  way  that  may  please  himself. 
Adieu,  brother,  and  most  sincere  friend,  as  also  your  wife  and 
family.  May  the  Lord  Jesus  continually  direct  you,  and  be 
present  with  you.  You  will  convey  best  greetings  to  the 
brethren,  and  to  your  wife  in  my  name.  My  wife  salutes  you 
and  your  family.     Yours, 

Calvin. 

\Lat.  orig.  mitogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  106.] 

'  Subjected  to  torture,  Gruet  admitted  his  guilt,  and  as  well  on  the  ground  of  his 
impious  and  blasphemous  productions,  as  of  a  letter  written  to  a  private  individual, 
in  which  he  exhorted  the  Duke  of  Savoy  to  turn  his  arms  against  Geneva,  he  was 
condemned  to  death.  It  appeared,  according  to  the  letter  of  Calvin  to  Viret,  of 
which  a  fragment  is  here  reproduced,  that  this  sentence  was  not  unanimous,  and  that 
Gruet  reckoned  up  to  this  time,  in  the  councils  of  the  republic,  friends  or  accomplices 
who  were  desirous  of  saving  him.  This  did  not  prevent  his  execution  on  the  26th 
July  1547,  and  the  example  threw  terror  into  the  ranks  of  the  party  of  the  Libertins. 
On  the  trial  of  Gruet,  see  the  various  historians  of  Geneva, — Spon,  Picot,  and  tho 
Histoire  de  la  Suisse,  vol.  xi.  pp.  364,  365. 


1547.]  THE   FAITHFUL   OF   FRANCE.  129 


CCII. — To  THE  Faithful  of  France.' 

State  of  Germany — details  regarding  tlie  struggles  of  the  Reformer  in  the  cause  of 
the  truth  at  Geneva. 

This  2ith  of  July  lbi7. 

The  electing  love  of  God  our  Father,  and  the  grace  of  our 
Lord  Jesus  Christ,  rest  always  upon  you  by  the  communion 
of  the  Holy  Spirit. 

Very  dear  lords  and  brethren,  I  doubt  not  that  you  have 
daily  much  news,  as  well  from  hence  as  from  Germany,  which 
might  prove  a  stumblingblock  to  those  who  are  not  overmuch 
confirmed  in  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ.  But  I  trust  in  God  he  has 
so  strengthened  you,  that  you  shall  not  be  shaken,  either  thereby 
or  by  any  still  greater  marvel  which  may  yet  arise.  And  verily, 
if  we  are  indeed  built  upon  that  solid  stone  which  has  been 
ordained  for  the  foundation  of  the  Church,  we  may  well  sustain 
more  boisterous  storms  and  tempests  without  being  foundered. 
It  is  even  expedient  for  us  that  such  things  should  happen, 
that  the  firmness  and  constancy  of  our  faith  may  be  approved. 

As  for  the  state  of  Germany,  our  Lord  has  so  abased  the 
worldly  pride  of  our  people,  and  given  all  power  and  authority 
to  him  from  whom  we  can  look  for  nought  but  ill,  as  that  it 
indeed  appears  that  he  means  himself  to  maintain  his  spiri- 
tual kingdom  wheresoever  he  had  already  set  it  up.  It  is  very 
true,  that  according  to  the  carnal  mind  it  is  in  danger;  yet  in 
commending  to  himself  the  care  of  his  poor  Church  and  the 
kingdom  of  his  Son,  let  us  hope  that  he  will  provide  for  all, 
beyond  what  we  can  think.     The  danger  hitherto  has  been, 

'  Entitled:  To  our  very  dear  lords  and  brethren  who  desire  the  advancement  of 
the  kingdom  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ. 

During  the  period  that  the  Reformation  was  for  awhile  overcome  in  Germany,  and 
that  it  had  to  sustain  the  rudest  conflicts  in  order  to  its  establishment  at  Geneva,  the 
most  alarming  reports  were  spread  among  the  French  Protestants,  and  carried  dis- 
couragement and  dismay  into  their  ranks.  Calvin,  addressing  his  brethren  from  the 
midst  of  the  struggle  in  which  he  was  engaged  against  the  party  of  the  Libortins,  re- 
assured and  comforted  them  by  his  letters,  and  exhorted  them  to  place  their  entire 
confidence  in  God. 

17 

I 


130  THE   FAITHFUL   OF   FRANCE.  [15-i7. 

lest  human  means  might  have  dazzled  our  eyes.  Now,  how- 
ever, since  there  is  nothing  to  prevent  our  looking  to  his  hand, 
and  recalling  to  mind  how  he  has  preserved  his  Church  in  time 
past,  let  us  not  doubt  but  he  will  glorify  himself  in  such  sort 
that  we  shall  be  amazed.  Meanwhile,  we  must  never  grow 
weary  of  fighting  under  the  ensign  of  the  cross  of  our  Lord 
Jesus  Christ,  for  that  is  worth  more  than  all  the  triumphs  of 
the  world. 

As  regards  the  rumours  of  our  troubles  which  have  flown 
abroad,  they  seem,  the  greater  part  of  them,  in  the  first  place, 
to  have  been  improvised;  because,  were  you  upon  the  spot,  you 
would  not  see  a  tenth  part  of  what  is  told  at  a  distance.  True 
it  is,  that  we  have  many  hard-headed  and  stiff-necked  rebels, 
who  on  all  occasions  seek  only  to  raise  themselves,  and  by  riot- 
ous courses  to  dissipate  and  abolish  all  order  in  the  Church,  and 
these,  indeed,  as  well  young  as  old.  And  the  state  of  our  young 
people,  especially,  is  very  corrupt;  so  that,  when  we  will  not 
allow  them  every  license,  they  go  from  bad  to  worse.^  Of  late, 
they  were  sorely  enraged  under  cover  of  a  small  matter.  It  was 
because  they  were  not  allowed  to  wear  slashed  breeches,  which 
has  been  prohibited  in  the  town  for  these  twelve  years  past.  Not 
that  we  would  make  overmuch  of  this,  but  because  we  see  that, 
by  the  loop-holes  of  the  breeches,  they  wish  to  bring  in  all  man- 
ner of  disorders.  We  have  protested,  however,  in  the  mean- 
time, that  the  slashing  of  their  breeches  was  but  a  mere  piece 
of  foppery,  which  was  not  worth  speaking  about,  but  that  we 
had  quite  another  end  in  view,  which  was  to  curb  and  to  repress 
their  follies.  During  this  little  conflict,  the  devil  has  interjected 
others,  so  that  there  has  been  great  murmuring.  And  because 
they  perceived  in  us  more  courage  than  they  could  have  wished, 
and  more  determination  to  resist  them,  the  venom  which  some 
of  them  had  concealed  within  their  heart  burst  forth.  But  this 
is  nought  but  smoke;  for  their  threats  are  nothing  else  but  a 
splutter  of  the  pride  of  Moab,  who  is  powerless  to  execute 
what  he  thus  presumes  to  threaten. 

Howsoever  that  may  be,  you  need  not  be  astonished.  There 
have  been  greater  commotions  stirred  against  Moses  and  against 

'  Hs  font  des  mauyais  chevaulx  a  mordre  et  a  regimber. 


1547.]  THE   FAITHFUL   OF   FKANCE,  131 

the  prophets,  although  they  had  to  govern  the  people  of  God  ; 
and  such  exercises  are  needful  for  us.  Only  beseech  our  Lord, 
that  he  would  vouchsafe  us  grace  not  to  flinch,  but  that  we 
may  prefer  his  obedience  to  our  life  if  need  be,  and  that  we 
may  be  more  afraid  of  ofiending  him  than  of  stirring  up  all 
the  fury  of  the  wicked  against  ourselves,  and  that  at  length  it 
may  please  him  to  allay  all  the  tumults  which  might  otherwise 
break  the  courage  of  the  unsettled,  for  it  is  that  which  down- 
weighs  me  more  than  all  the  rest.  This  grace  our  Lord  has 
vouchsafed  us,  that  we  have  a  right  good  will  to  remedy  the 
evil,  and  all  our  brethren  are  well  agreed  to  go  forward  earn- 
estly in  that  which  is  our  duty,  so  that  there  is  the  same  con- 
stancy in  all.  Nothing  is  needful,  except  that  this  good  Lord 
continue  to  conduct  his  own  work. 

I  entreat  of  you,  my  dear  brethren,  continue  steadfast  on  your 
part  also;  and  let  no  fear  alarm  you,  even  although  the  dangers 
were  more  apparent  than  you  have  seen  them  hitherto.  May 
the  reliance  which  God  commands  us  to  have  in  his  grace  and 
in  his  strength  always  be  to  you  an  impregnable  fortress;  and 
for  the  holding  fast  the  assurance  of  his  help,  may  you  be  care- 
ful to  walk  in  his  fear,  although,  when  we  have  made  it  our 
whole  study  to  serve  him,  we  must  always  come  back  to  this 
conclusion,  of  asking  pardon  for  our  shortcomings.  And  inas- 
much as  you  know  well  from  experience  how  frail  we  are,  be  ever 
diligent  to  continue  in  the  practice  which  you  have  established, 
of  prayer  and  hearing  of  the  holy  word,  to  exercise  you,  and  to 
sharpen  and  confirm  you  more  and  more.  Let  nothingturn  you 
aside,  as  sometimes  there  are  many  colourable  pretexts  adduced 
to  justify  the  remission  of  such  duties.  I  am  convinced  that  it 
would  be  much  better  that  all  those  who  desire  to  honour  God 
should  assemble  together,  and  that  every  one  should  call  the 
others  thither  as  by  sound  of  trumpet.  But  yet,  it  is  much 
better  to  have  what  you  have,  though  it  be  but  a  part,  than  no- 
thing at  all.  And  so,  watching  well  against  declension,  seek 
rather  to  advance  in  the  way  of  proficiency,  and  make  use  of 
what  God  gives  you, — edifying  one  another,  and  in  general  all 
poor  and  ignorant  ones,  by  your  good  life,  that  so,  by  the  same 
means,  the  wicked  may  be  put  to  confusion.     In  so  doing,  you 


132  MONSIEUR   DE   FALAIS.  [1547. 

will  perceive  the  hand  of  God  upon  you,  to  whom  I  pray  that 
he  would  increase  in  you  the  graces  which  he  has  put  within 
you ;  that  he  would  strengthen  you  in  true  consistency ;  that, 
in  the  midst  of  dogs  and  of  wolves,  he  would  preserve  you,  and 
every  way  glorify  himself  in  you ;  after  having  commended 
me  affectionately  to  your  kind  prayers. 

Your  humble  brother  and  entire  friend, 

Charles  d'Espeville. 

[Ft:  copy — Library  of  Geneva.    Yol.  107.] 


CCIII. — To  Monsieur  de  Falais. 

Thanksgiving  for  the  happy  deliverance  of  Madame  de  Falais — false  reports  concern- 
ing the  state  of  Geneva — details  regarding  the  publication  of  the  Apology — indis- 
position of  Calvin,  and  his  regret  at  being  separated  from  Monsieur  de  Falais. 

From  Geneva,  this  l&th  of  August  1547. 

Monseigneur, — Two  days  after  the  arrival  of  M.  Bud^,  I 
received  your  letter,  which  you  had  delivered  to  James  Dalli- 
chant;  so  that  all  of  them  have  been  delivered.  Thinking  to 
find  a  messenger,  I  have  twice  since  then  been  disappointed ; 
and  I  was  also  in  doubt  whether  to  undertake  the  journey. 
For  notwithstanding  the  hindrances  which  might  detain  me,  I 
was  afraid  that  I  had  no  sufficient  excuse.  But  the  tidings 
which  have  since  reached  us,  have  removed  that  doubt.  I  re- 
turn thanks  to  our  Lord,  and  all  our  friends  along  with  me, 
for  the  happy  delivery  which  he  has  granted  to  Madame,  pray- 
ing that  he  would  so  bless  the  ofi'spring  which  he  has  given 
you,  that  you  may  have  a  twofold  comfort  in  them  in  the  time 
to  come,  as  I  do  also  hope.  We  shall  look  for  a  letter  from 
you  shortly.  It  is  enough  in  the  meanwhile  to  know  that  all 
is  well  as  to  the  main  point. 

In  reply  to  all  that  you  have  sent  to  me,  I  had  requested 
Gallars  to  translate  the  Apology^  promising  to  revise  it  finally 
myself.    But  he  has  been  so  negligent,  that  Master  Francis 


1547.]  MONSIEUR  DE  FALAIS.  133 

Baulduin'  came  just  in  time  to  begin  it.  I  send  you,  there- 
fore, his  translation,  which  we  have  revised  together,  not  to 
polish  it  very  highly,  but  merely  to  see  whether  the  meaning 
had  been  truly  rendered,  at  the  same  time  with  the  French 
copy  in  the  handwriting  of  Saint  Andr^. 

In  the  Latin  epistle  of  Dryander,^  I  have  corrected  what 
appeared  to  me  to  be  right;  you  can  follow  that  which  shall 
seem  best  to  yourself.  I  hope  that  you  will  understand  who 
has  induced  me  to  write  many  things,  which  I  did  not  object 
to,  but  which  appeared  to  me  to  be  superfluous,  or  at  least  that 
they  would  be  of  no  weight  with  the  individual  to  whom  they 
were  addressed. 

You  will  see  the  answers  which  I  have  made  in  the  name  of 
Mademoiselle  de  Wilergy,  and  may  give  effect  to,  if  you  think 
they  are  the  right  thing.  I  speak  drily  enough  to  the  Abbess, 
because  of  the  suspicion,  which  is  very  strong. 

If  it  please  God  to  settle  a  church  there,  it  will  be  a  great 
comfort  to  your  family.  But  the  blessing  will  extend  much 
further,  and  will  have  the  effect  of  removing  many  stumbling- 
blocks.  It  is  a  great  pity  the  scattering  of  the  handful  who 
met  at  Yezel,^  Our  Lord,  I  fear,  must  have  been  disposed  to 
punish  that  excessive  moroseness,  which  could  only  arise  from 
a  despising  of  his  blessing.     However,  I  hope  that,  after  having 


'  Francis  Baudouin  of  Arras,  a  distinguished  lawyer,  fled  to  Geneva  on  account 
of  religion.  Ho  became  the  friend  and  the  secretary  of  Calvin,  whose  opinions  at 
a  later  period  he  attacked,  and  betrayed  his  confidence  by  robbing  him  of  his  most 
precious  papers. — (See  Drelincourt,  Defence  of  Calvin,  pp.  231,  232.)  Called  suc- 
cessively as  Professor  of  Law  to  Bourges,  to  Strasbourg,  and  to  Heidelberg,  Bau- 
douin died  in  1573,  leaving  the  reputation  of  one  of  the  most  learned  men  of  his 
time,  and  of  a  most  versatile  spirit  in  matters  of  religion.  It  has  been  justly  said  of 
him,  that  he  was  a  Roman  Catholic  in  France,  a  Lutheran  at  Strasbourg,  and  a  Calvinist 
at  Geneva. 

'See  note  1,  p.  111.  Bryander  seems  at  this  period  to  have  filled  the  oflSce  of 
secretary  to  M.  de  Falais.  He  carried  on  at  the  same  time  a  correspondence  with 
Calvin,  expressing  the  highest  esteem  for  his  character  and  talents. — Library  of  Geneva, 
Vol.  110.  One  of  his  brothers,  John  Ensinas,  had  been  burnt  at  Rome  in  1545,  a 
martyr  to  the  Protestant  faith. 

'  Some  Flemish  and  French  refugees  had  already  formed  a  community  at  Vezel, 
which  was  enlarged  in  1553  by  the  dispersion  of  the  foreign  congregation  of  London, 
and  which  was  constituted  as  a  church  by  the  minister  Francis  Perucel,  called  La 
Riviere. 


134  MONSIEUR  DE   FALATS.  [1547. 

punished  the  fanatics  and  crack-brained  persons  who  have  been 
the  cause  of  all  the  mischief,  he  will  yet  set  up  again  his  little 
flock  which  remains,  and  will  hold  out  a  hand  to  them,  to  lead 
them  always  in  the  right  way. 

What  moved  me  to  urge  you  about  the  house,  was  my  fear 
of  the  shame  I  should  feel  if  perhaps  you  did  arrive  here  and 
should  not  find  a  lodging  ready.  Besides,  the  repairs  which 
the  landlord  thought  of  making  thereon,  would  not  make  it  fit 
for  your  occupation.  Thus  the  rent  you  are  paying  for  it, 
would  be  so  much  money  lost,  unless  we  should  fall  upon  some 
remedy  for  it.  Although  I  have  taken  it  for  three  years,  it 
was  at  my  option  to  be  quit  of  the  bargain  at  the  end  of  the 
half-year,  on  giving  intimation  three  weeks  before  the  term. 
At  this  time  we  shall  be  foreclosed  of  that  liberty.  If  you 
could  have  decided  upon  coming,  I  would  have  desired  the 
whole  to  be  put  in  proper  repair,  that  you  might  be  exempt 
from  annoyance.  But  seeing  the  matter  stands  as  it  does,  it 
is  very  unadvisable  indeed  to  charge  yourself  with  a  house 
here;  only  I  could  have  wished  to  cause  you  no  needless  ex- 
pense. But  since  you  have  allowed  this  half  year  to  pass 
away,  we  shall  need  to  take  care  between  this  and  the  end  of 
January,  so  as  not  to  enter  upon  the  second  year. 

I  perceive  that  the  troubles  which  we  have  had  here  are  also 
exaggerated  with  you  as  well  as  elsewhere.  At  Lyons  they  have 
had  me  dead  in  more  than  twenty  ways.  Everywhere  through- 
out the  country  they  tell  of  wonders,  of  which,  God  be  thanked, 
we  perceive  nothing.  It  is  very  true  Satan  has  here  very  many 
firebrands;  but  the  flame  passes  off  with  a  blaze  like  that  of 
flax.  The  capital  punishment  which  has  been  inflicted  upon 
one  of  their  companions,^  has  laid  their  horns  in  the  dust.  As 
for  your  landlord,^  I  know  not  what  face  he  will  wear  towards 
us  when  he  returns.  He  appeared  to  go  away  on  friendly 
terms,  at  least  manifesting  more  compunction  and  respect 
towards  me  than  formerly.  Meanwhile,  however,  his  wife  has 
played  the  she-devil  to  such  a  degree,  that  she  has  found  it 
necessary  to  gain  the  open  country.  It  is  already  about  three 
months  that  he  has  been  absent.    He  must  needs  walk  softly 

'Jacques  Gruet.     See  p.  128.  "Amy  Perrin. 


1547.]  MONSIEUR   DE   FALAIS.  135 

upon  his  return.  Up  to  the  present  time,  we  have  got  on  very 
Well,  considering  the  condition  of  the  servants  of  God.  Had 
we  not  been  so  depressed,  we  should  have  been  too  mucli  at  our 
ease.  I  believe,  indeed,  that  he  may  have  opened  the  letter,  and 
that  that  may  have  given  boldness  to  Yaleran,  and  to  that 
Worthy  man  with  whom  he  was  lodged,  to  take  a  second  look 
into  them.  However  that  may  be,  in  complaining  about  it  as 
he  does,  he  must  at  once  avow  himself  to  be  a  breaker-open  of 
letters,  which  is  certainly  the  act  of  a  lawless  man.  As  for  his 
wrongs,  they  weigh  no  more  with  me  than  his  person  in  the 
scale  of  importance,  which  is  a  little  less  than  a  feather.  More- 
over, it  is  evident  that  he  was  drunk,  or  at  least  seeing  double, 
when  he  thus  wrote.  Provided  he  does  not  go  the  length  of 
throwing  stones,  our  patience,  yours  and  mine,  will  not  find  it 
very  hard  to  bear  with  his  abuse.  We  are  not  better  than 
David,  were  we  even  called  to  bear  further  injury,  and  he  is  at 
least  quite  as  worthy  as  Shimei.  In  that  and  in  greater  things, 
let  us  pray  God  that  he  may  vouchsafe  us  grace  to  call  us  to  his 
light,  despising  the  calumniesof  those  who  judge  in  darkness. 
I  am  more  sorry  than  for  aught  else  to  see  him  gone  so  far 
astray. 

If  there  is  no  pressing  hurry,  or  if  there  might  be  more  hope 
of  reasonable  despatch  in  the  absence  of  the  protonotary,  I 
think  that  it  would  only  be  right  to  await  his  return,  as  well 
that  nothing  may  be  done  by  halves,  as  to  avoid  the  suspicion 
he  might  take  up,  that  you  had  watched  the  opportunity,  or 
anticipated  the  complaint  he  meant  to  make,  in  terms  of  his 
letter,  which  was  not  a  little  dissatisfied.  But  should  there  be 
any  dammim  ant  peri culum  in  mora,  this  consideration  ought 
not  to  hamper  you,  so  at  least  methinks.  Otherwise  the  better 
way  will  be,  to  wait  for  an  opportunity  to  get  rid  of  the  whole 
at  once. 

As  for  the  book-mark — your  own  arms,  as  well  as  the  motto, 
everything  will  be  liable  to.be  blazoned  abroad  by  those  who, 
without  good  ground,  are,  nevertheless,  always  open-mouthed 
in  speaking  evil  of  us.  Howbeit,  I  find  nothing  amiss,  neither 
in  the  one  nor  in  the  other.  Even  had  there  been  no  diminish- 
ing of  the  expenses,  there  could  be  no  harm  in  putting  the  arms 


.136  MONSIEUR  DE   FALAIS.  '  [1547. 

at  tlie  beginning,  and  the  motto  at  the  end.  But  I  am  much 
puzzled  which  of  the  two  methods  to  choose,  unless  you  were 
to  put  your  armorial  bearings  with  the  saying  underneath, — 
Qui  recedit  a  malo  proidce  est  expositus,  with  the  citation  of  the 
chapter.^ 

As  regards  the  marriage,^  for  my  part,  I  would  by  no  means 
consent  to  it.  You  see  how  confidentially  I  reply  to  you.  '  The 
family  is  very  poor  indeed.  The  noblesse  of  Savoy  is  very 
different  from  that  of  your  country  ;  the  man  himself  is  well 
enough,  but  not  so  steady  as  to  withstand  evil  counsels  ;  subject 
to  illnesses,  arising  chiefly  from  a  sanguine  temperament, — (you 
fear  one  reproach ;  I  am  afraid  of  a  quite  different  one,  which 
I  would  only  mention  if  I  desired  to  be  put  out  of  the  way, 
&c.)  You  had  been  rash  in  entertaining  his  proposal.'  Pardon 
me  if  I  am  too  forward.  I  would  like  better  to  take  the  other 
whom  I  know,  if  it  fell  to  me  to  decide.  But  it  is  full  time 
for  me  to  pull  up,  having  certainly  exceeded  due  bounds. 

Before  I  have  concluded,  a  cough  has  seized  me,  and  hits  me 
so  hard  upon  the  shoulder  that  I  cannot  draw  a  stroke  of  the 
pen  without  acute  pain.^  There  is  a  letter  to  Wendelin,  to 
which  I  would  much  desire  to  have  a  reply,  because  there  is 
some  inquiry  regarding  the  Commentaries  on  St.  Paul,  of 
which  several  persons  urge  the  printing.  I  hope  that  it  shall 
be  profitable,  otherwise  I  would  not  have  composed  them. 
Seeing  that  the  present  bearers  are  not  quite  certain  of  going 
so  far  as  Strasbourg,  and  that  even  if  they  do  go,  I  could  not 
be  sure  to  have  an  answer  by  them,  I  beg  you  kindly  to  charge 
some  one  of  your  servants  to  convey  the  letter  in  good  time, 
and  to  procure  the  answer. 

Monsieur,  having  heartily  commended  me  to  your  kind 
favour,  and  that  of  Madame,  and  also  presented  to  you  remem- 
brances from  my  wife,  I  pray  our  Lord  that  it  would  please 
him  to  have  you  in  his  holy  keeping,  to  preserve  to  you  the 
blessing  he  has  bestowed,  that  you  may  even  see  the  fruit  of 
it,  so  as  to  derive  more  full  consolation  and  joy ;  and,  in  the 

'  Isaiah  lix.  15.  *  Of  Mademoiselle  de  Wilergy. 

*  The  conclusion  of  the  letter  is  in  the  handwriting  of  Francis  Baudouin. 


1547.]  FAREL.  137 

meanwhile,  to  help  you  iu  everything,  and  that  continually.  I 
am  sorry  that  I  cannot  be  with  you  for  at  least  a  half  of  a  day, 
to  laugh  with  you,  while  we  wait  for  a  smile  from  the  little 
infant,  under  the  penalty  of  bearing  with  his  cries  and  tears. 
For  that  is  the  first  note,  sounded  as  the  key-note,  at  the  be- 
ginning of  this  life — the  earnest  of  a  better,  that  we  may  smile 
from  the  heart  when  we  shall  be  about  to  depart  from  it. 

I  entreat  of  you  to  bear  with  my  indisposition,  commending 
me  to  the  goodly  company. 

Your  servant  and  humble  brother, 

John  Calvin.' 

[Fr.  oriij.  aidogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  194.] 


CCIY.— To  Farel. 

False  report   of  Calvin's  death — proposition    (query)  by  the  wife  of  Amy  Perrin 
— calumnious  accusation  against  Idelette  de  Bure — ^journey  of  Farel  to  Geneva. 

Geneva,  21s«  Aiigust  1547. 

I  am  more  grateful  to  you  than  words  can  readily  express, 
for  having  spontaneously  transferred  to  us  your  credit  and  ser- 
vice, when  you  thought  that  we  were  pres.sed  by  great  difficul- 
ties. In  this,  however,  you  did  nothing  that  was  novel  or 
unexpected.  The  reason  why  I  did  not  avail  myself  of  your 
offer,  was  that  various  rumours  were  everywhere  flying  about 
which  1  thought  had  been  extinguished,  but  which  would  have 
been  the  more  increased  had  I  summoned  hither  you  and  Viret. 
You  know  with  what  sort  of  men  we  have  to  deal,  and  how 
eager  they  are  for  an  opportunity  of  speaking  against  us. 
Letters  were  daily  arriving,  especially  from  Lyons,  from  which 
I  learned  that  I  had  been  more  than  ten  times  killed.^  It  was 
therefore  proper  that  the  ungodly  should  be  deprived  of  the 

'  The  signature  of  the  letter  is  autograph. 

'  "M.  Calvin  has  represented  that  letters  have  been  written  to  him,  as  well  from 
Bourgiiyne  as  from  Lyons,  to  the  effect  that  the  children  of  Geneva  were  willing  to 
give  five  hundred  crowns  to  have  him  put  to  death ;  he  does  not  know  who  these  are." 
— llegialera  of  the  Consistory,  1st  September  15i7. 

18 


138  FAREL.  [1547. 

occasion  of  talking.  The  senate  is  now  quieted,  and  is  favour- 
ably disposed  to  the  good  cause.  Amy,  our  friend,  is  still  in 
France.^  His  wife  is  with  her  father,  where  she  carries  on  her 
revels  in  her  usual  fashion,  and  yet  we  requested  the  Senate 
that  all  past  offences  might  be  forgiven  her,  if  she  shewed  any- 
thing to  warrant  a  hope  of  repentance.  That  petition  has  not 
been  granted,  for  she  has  gone  so  far  as  to  have  cut  off  all  hope 
of  pardon  for  herself.  As  the  day  of  the  [Lord's]  Supper  draws 
near,  I  may  meet  with  Penthesiliea.  Froment  lately  made  a 
movement  about  a  reconciliation,  but  he  wished  the  matter  to 
be  settled  according  to  his  own  arbitration.  I  replied  that  our 
church  was  not  so  destitute  but  that  there  were  brethren  com- 
petent to  undertake  that  duty.  We  shall  make  every  effort. 
And  yet  she  has  cruelly  wounded  me.  For  when  at  the  baptism 
of  our  child  James,  I  had  admitted  the  truth  about  the  fault 
of  my  wife  and  her  former  husband,'^  she  calumniously  asserted 
among  her  own  friends,  that  my  wife  was  therefore  a  harlot ; 
such  is  her  bold  impudence.  I  shall  treat  her  not  according 
to  what  she  deserves,  but  according  to  what  my  office  demands. 
Add  that  N.  had  invented  a  most  calumnious  fable, — to  the 
effect,  thati  had  received  a  severe  reprimand  from  youandYiret, 
on  the  ground  that,  having  been  placed  here  by  you  in  your 
room,  and  by  way  of  deputy,  I  abused  my  precarious  authority. 
You  will  now,  however,  come  at  a  much  more  opportune  time 
than  you  would  have  done  before.  You  would  hear  everything 
that  cannot  be  committed  to  writing.  You  might  apply  your 
hand  to  wounds  that  are  not  yet  well  healed.     We  might  con- 

'  Charged  with  an  important  mission  to  the  court  of  King  Henry  II.,  Perrin,  on 
his  return,  was  subjected  to  the  accusation  of  treason  in  the  carrying  out  of  his 
commission.  The  King  of  France  had  said  that  he  would  give  two  millions  to  be 
master  of  Geneva.  Perrin  was  accused  of  having  replied,  that  two  hundred  horse 
would  be  suflBcient  to  conquer  the  city. — Hist,  de  la  Suisse,  vol.  xi.  p.  361.  It 
could  not  however  be  proved,  that  he  had  contracted  secret  engagements  with 
France.  He  was  nevertheless  imprisoned,  afterwards  released  at  the  request  of  the 
Seigneury  of  Berne,  and  stripped  of  his  offices. — Registers  of  Council,  September  and 
November  1548. 

=  Idelette  de  Dure  is  known  to  have  espoused  in  her  first  nuptials  an  Anabaptist, 
Jean  Storder.  According  to  the  doctrines  of  that  sect,  which  denied  the  authority 
of  the  civil  power,  the  marriage  to  be  legitimate  had  no  need  of  the  sanction  of  the 
magistrate. 


1547.]  viRET.  139 

suit  together  about  the  remedying  of  occult  diseases.  You  will 
therefore  see  whether  you  will  have  any  leisure.  I  have  com- 
menced work  upon  the  Fathers  of  Trent;'  but  the  beginnings 
proceed  slowly.  The  reason  is,  I  have  not  an  hour  that  is 
free  from  incessant  interruptions.  Adieu,  most  sound-hearted 
brother,  and  matchless  friend;  salute  respectfully  fellow-mini- 
sters and  your  family  in  my  name.  May  the  Lord  be  always 
present  with  you,  direct  you,  and  bless  your  labours.  Amen. 
— Yours, 


John  Calvin. 


[Calvin's  Lat.  Corresp. — Opera,  vol.  ix.  p.  240.] 


CCV.— To  YlKET. 

Mention  of  a  letter  from  M.  de  Falais — Emmanuel  Tremelli — a  book  by  Viret — ^journey 
of  Bude  and  Nicolas  des  Gallars  to  Paris. 

Geneva,  29;7i  August  1547. 

Before  bringing  to  a  conclusion  the  matter  of  Beat,  it  seems 

DO  ' 

proper  to  wait  the  return  of  Textor,  who  I  know  will  be  here 
in  a  short  time,  unless  some  new  obstacle  intervene.  For 
he  had  been  compelled  to  remove  from  Macon,  when  Claude 
the  dyer  lately  returned  from  that  quarter.  The  letter  from 
BTile  contained  absolutely  nothing  of  interest  to  you  or  me. 
There  was  but  one  letter  of  Falais  to  me,  in  which  he  men- 
tioned the  birth  of  a  daughter,'^  of  whose  death  he  spoke  in  a 
second  letter  to  Maldonado.  He  had  besides  sent  a  copy  of 
the  letter  of  recommendation  which  the  Landgrave  had  ob- 
tained from  the  Emperor;  but  I  had  read  a  translation  of  it 
by  Pagnet  fifteen  days  before.  I  send  it  to  you  in  case  you  should 
not  have  seen  it.  I  had  forgot  the  epistle  of  Yaleran,  in  which 
that  wretch  so  unblushingly  insults  a  perfect  nobleman,  that  I 
am  ashamed  to  read  it.     Bude  strongly  solicited  me  to  exert 

*  Allusion  to  the  work  which  Calvin  was  at  that  time  preparing  against  the  Council 
of  Trent,  and  which  appeared  at  the  end  of  the  year. — See  the  Letter  to  Farel  of  tho 
2Sth  December  1547. 

"  See  the  letter  to  M.  de  Falais  of  the  16th  August,  p.  132. 


1-iO  viRET.  [1547. 

myself  to  bring  Emmanuel'  hither,  if  it  could  be  accomplished 
on  any  ground.  His  services  could  be  of  no  avail  to  us,  unless 
in  the  professorship  of  Hebrew;  and  this  ofhce  is  filled  by 
Imbert.  I  wish  you  would  excuse  me  to  him,  if  you  have  no 
objection,  that  he  may  at  least  understand  that  I  am  not  guilty 
of  neglect.  Girard  has  not  yet  brought  the  preface,  although  I 
reminded  him  that  he  should  do  so  to-day.  Send  the  book  on 
the  Church  and  Sacraments.^  I  would  read  it  with  pleasure, 
even  although  you  did  not  impose  that  task  upon  me.  Only  I 
request  your  permission  to  consult  my  own  convenience;  for  I 
never  had  less  leisure  than  at  present.  The  long  nights,  how- 
ever, will  presently  afford  me  somewhat  more.  Des  Gallars 
has  left  for  Paris,  along  with  Bude,  as  he  could  not  otherwise 
satisfy  his  mother;  and  he  could  not  have  had  a  better  oppor- 
tunity than  now,  in  the  absence  of  his  father-in-law.  Besides, 
he  has  it  in  view  to  bring  his  sister  along  with  him;  a  modest 
girl,  I  hear,  and  who  is  harshly  treated  by  her  step-father.  I 
wished  you  to  know  that.  Adieu,  most  sound-hearted  brother 
and  friend,  with  your  wife  and  brothers,  all  of  whom  you  will 
salute  in  our  name.     May  Christ  be  ever  present  with  you. 

But  I  had  forgot  about  Vernon.  Sulzer  obtained  from  the 
Senate  a  supplement  for  him,  so  long  as  he  should  be  sick, 
to  meet  the  unusual  expenditure;  and  also  half  stipend  for 
Maigret.^  Lest  that  arrangement  should  displease  me,  Sulzer 
charged  him  to  return  to  terms  of  friendship  with  me.  After 
asking  me  to  come  to  him,  he  made  a  long  enough  petition  for 
forgiveness.  I  replied  as  I  was  disposed,  and  as  I  was  bound 
to  do.  The  result  was  that  he  promised  amendment,  and  I 
fraternal  affection,  if  he  changed  his  course  of  life  for  the  better. 
— Yours, 

John  CALvm. 

[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  106.] 

'  Emmanuel  Tremelli,  a  learned  Hebraist  of  Ferrara,  disciple  of  Peter  Martyr,  at 
that  time  in  retirement  at  Strasbourg. 

''The  book, — t)e  la  Vertu  et  Usage  du  Saint  Miniatere  et  des  Sacremens,  Geneve, 
1518.     Senebier,  Hist.  Lift,  vol.  i.  p.  156,  Art.  Viret. 

^  The  minister  Antoine  Maigret,  who  was  shortly  afterwards  deposed  from  his 
charge. 


1547.]  MONSIEUR   DE   FALAIS.  141 


CCYI. — To  Monsieur  de  Falais. 

Dedication  of  the  Apology — mention  of  M.  do  Montmor — Sickness  of  Maldonado. 

From  Geneva,  this  \%lh  of  September  1547. 

MoNSEiGNEUR, — By  your  last,  I  perceive,  that  I  have  not  yet 
satisfied  you  concerning  the  Apology.  Although  the  three 
points  which  you  have  noted  need  not  retard  the  publication, 
the  excuse  may  be  made  in  three  sentences;  because  should 
we  enter  somewhat  further  on  explanation,  we  must  touch  upon 
rather  ticklish  matters,  which  it  would  be  better  to  let  sleep. 
I  do  not  know  to  whom  it  would  be  well  to  address  it  at  pre- 
sent, considering  the  temper  of  the  times.  She  has  already 
played  a  principal  part:  I  cannot  think  of  any  of  the  other 
persons  who  would  be  suitable.  To  dedicate  it  to  the  noblesse 
of  the  Netherlands,  would  be  a  hateful  proceeding.  In  Ger- 
many, what  states  would  you  choose?  I  would  therefore  pre- 
fer that  no  change  be  made  in  the  beginning.  Touching  the 
conclusion,  although  there  is  plenty  of  material,  and  that  very 
pertinent,  that  might  be  added,  even  as  it  stands  it  is  not  in- 
complete. Hereafter,  should  occasion  call  for  it,  you  will  con- 
sider whether  you  should  add  thereto,  or  make  some  other 
distinct  publication.  However,  I  refer  the  whole  to  your  dis- 
cretion, and  merely  express  to  you  my  opinion. 

Concerning  the  party  you  inquire  about,  I  fear  that  you 
suppose  I  build  marriages  in  the  air  very  much  at  random. 
But  why  so?  for  indeed  I  believe  that  I  have  some  foundation 
of  reason  and  sound  confidence.  Eight  months  ago,  the  son  of 
M.  de  Montmor,  with  whom  I  was  brought  up  in  my  child- 
hood,' informed  me  that  he  would  desire  above  all  else  to 
retire  hither,  and  he  continues  of  that  mind;   for  it  is  not 

'  We  road  in  the  Life  of  Calvin  by  Theodore  Beza,  "From  his  youth  ho  was  all  the 
better,  and  liberally  brought  up, — at  the  expense  of  his  father,  however — in  the  society 
of  the  children  of  the  house  of  Montmor,  whom  he  also  accompanied  as  the  companion 
of  their  studies  at  Paris."  It  is  to  one  of  the  members  of  that  noble  family,  Claude 
de  Hangest,  Abbot  of  Saint  Eloy,  that  Calvin  dedicated,  in  1532,  his  Commentary  on 
Seneca's  Treatise  De  dementia. 


142  MONSIEUR  DE   FALAIS.  [1547. 

merely  on  one  occasion  that  he  has  so  written.  He  is  a  young 
man;  at  least  he  is  of  the  age  of  thirty-four  years,  good- 
natured,  very  gentle,  and  docile.  Though  he  has  drunk  deep  of 
youthful  follies  in  earlier  life,  now  that  God  has  given  him  a 
knowledge  of  himself,  I  believe  he  will  be  quite  to  your  mind. 
I  have  made  diligent  inquiry  of  Nicolas  Loser,  and  Nicolas 
Picot  his  son-in-law,  who  have  spoken  to  him,  whether  there 
was  any  taint  of  disease  about  him,  such  as  young  men  acquire 
in  their  dissolute  courses.  They  have  replied  to  me  in  the 
negative.  My  desire  has  thereupon  led  me  to  build  an  expec- 
tation. Should  he  come,  as  I  expect,  I  would  send  him  at 
once  to  yourself;  and  then  you  can  consider  whether  he  would 
be  a  suitable  person.  If  he  does  not  come  within  a  mouth,  I 
know  not  whether  I  ought  to  expect  him.  But  I  think  he  will 
come,  to  communicate  to  me, -and  forthwith  return  to  expedite 
his  departure. 

We  have  been  like  to  lose  the  good  Maldonado,  for  he  has 
been  at  the  point  of  death:  and  the  fever  even  now  confines, 
him  to  bed,  but  not  with  imminent  danger,  so  far  as  we  can 
discern,  by  the  favour  of  God.  I  have  prepared  some  verjuice, 
enough  for  a  year's  provision,  which  awaits  you,  if  perchance 
you  come.  It  is  the  produce  which  you  have  got  from  your 
garden  for  the  bygone  year. 

In  conclusion.  Monsieur,  having  humbly  commended  me  to 
your  kind  favour,  and  that  of  Madame,  I  pray  our  good  Lord 
to  have  both  of  you  in  his  holy  protection,  to  lead  and  direct 
you,  to  send  you  whatsoever  he  perceives  to  be  needful  for 
you. 

Your  servant  and  humble  brother, 

John  Calvin. 

[Fr.  orig.  autogr. — Libranj  of  Geneva.     Yol.  194.] 


The  title  would  appear  to  me  to  read  well  thus:  Excuse 
composed  hy  M.  Jacques  de  Bourgoigne^  t&c,  to  clear  himself 
towards  his  Imperial  Majesty  from  the  calumnies  laid  upon  hira 
on  account  of  his  faith,  whereof  he  makes  confession.  For  the 
word  Apology  is  not  used  in  French. 


1547.]  BULLINGER.  »  143 


CCVII.— To  Hexry  Bullinger. 

Comments  by  Calvin  on  a  work  by  Bullinger — state  of  Germany  and  Italy — policy 
of  the  Cantons. 

[Geneva,  19th  September  1547.] 

It  is  now  six  months  since  I  returned  your  book,  with  anno- 
tations, such  as  you  had  requested  me  to  make.'  I  am  sur- 
prised that  I  have  received  no  reply  from  you  since  that  time. 
When  I  was  in  your  quarter,  you  reminded  me  that  there  was 
to  be  frequent  interchange  of  letters  between  us.  In  the  mean- 
time, I  have  heard  of  some  of  your  townsmen  having  at  difler- 
ent  times  passed  through  this  place;  I  have  had  no  one  going 
to  you,  so  far  as  I  remember.  Should  an  opportunity  of  writing 
be  at  any  time  afforded  you,  I  earnestl}'-  request  you  will  not 
allow  it  to  pass  without  availing  yourself  of  it. 

I  am  compelled  to  hear  more  about  the  disaster  of  Germany 
than  I  could  wish  ;  and  yet  nothing  is  said  of  the  condition  of 
Constance,  which  remains  deeply  fixed  in  my  mind.  There 
was  great  trepidation  at  Strasbourg  when  it  was  supposed  that 
the  Emperor  would  winter  there.  Moreover,  even  to  this  day, 
they  assert  that  the  gates  will  not  be  opened  to  him,  if  they 
receive  support  from  any  other  quarter.  I  do  not  know  what 
the  Ilelvetic  cities  may  think.  For  a  short  time,  indeed,  all 
rumours  of  a  war  to  be  waged  against  them  have  ceased,  on 

'  Bullinger  had  submitted  his  book  on  the  Sacraments  to  Calvin,  {Ahsoluta  de 
Christi  et  ejus  EcclesicE  Sacranientis  Tractatlo,)  in  which  he  departed  slightly  from 
the  doctrine  of  Zwingle,  with  the  view  of  approximating  to  that  of  the  French  Re- 
former. Still,  however,  the  mystery  of  the  spiritual  presence  of  Christ,  under  exter- 
nal and  material  symbols,  was  not  expressed  in  it  with  sufficient  clearness.  Calvin 
had  fully  criticised  this  book  in  a  letter,  or  rather  in  an  extended  memoir,  the  original 
of  which  is  preserved  at  Zurich,  under  the  title,  Ceiisura  Lihri  BiiHimjeri  de  Saera- 
mentiii,  Geneva,  27th  February  1547.  This  memoir,  written  with  a  brotherly  freedom, 
concludes  with  these  words  : — "  You  thus  have  what  in  your  book  I  desire  to  see 
corrected,  that  it  may  meet  with  absolute  approval.  I  make  no  note  of  the  parts  that 
merit  commendation.  I  have  discharged  the  office  of  a  friend,  by  complying  with 
your  wishes,  and  freely  admonishing  you;  it  now  remains  for  you  to  take  my  liberty 
in  good  part.  This  I  am  confident  you  will  do," — Library  of  Zurich.  Coll.  Jlottinger, 
M.  F.  80,  p.  33S. 


144  *  BULLIXGER.  [1547. 

account  of  the  Italian  commotions.  But  what  if  all  these  cities, 
struck  with  terror  of  him,  do  not  venture  upon  any  movement  ? 
He  already  occupies  Placentia  and  Parma, — Peter  Farnese' 
having  been  put  to  death  as  some  suppose,  or  at  least,  quite 
prostrated ;  and  so  great  a  success  may  possibly  be  the  means 
of  bringing  Italy  into  a  state  of  peaceful  subjugation  in  the 
course  of  this  year.  Were  he  to  enter  Strasbourg,  he  would, 
you  perceive,  occupy  an  encampment  whencehecould  invade  us. 
Would  there  then  be  time,  my  Bullinger,  for  you  to  deliberate  ? 
For  by  keeping  silence,  do  you  not,  as  it  were,  present  your 
throat  to  be  cut  ?  On  this  point,  however,  I  have  no  good 
reason  for  making  an  appeal  to  you,  for  I  know  that  your 
fellow-citizens  will  be  so  wise  as  to  desire  to  apply  a  remedy. 
The  neighbours  [Bernese]  are  manifestly  acting  the  part  of 
fools,  in  withstanding  the  adoption  of  any  measures  for  curbing 
this  wild  beast.^  Nevertheless,  as  they  are  of  their  own  accord 
bent  on  destruction,  may  the  Lord  direct  his  own  elect  by  the 
spirit  of  wisdom,  to  make  a  seasonable  stand  against  the 
dangers.  There  are  many  things  which  ought  to  deter  you 
from  the  French  alliance.  But  just  as,  on  the  one  hand,  it  is 
by  no  means  expedient  that  you  should  be  wholly  bound  up 
with  him  [the  French  king],  so,  on  the  other,  I  do  not  see  that 
you  are  to  shun  all  connection  with  him. 

As  to  the  rest,  the  boy  who  has  delivered  my  letter  to  you, 
is  the  son  of  a  senator  with  whom  I  am  on  terms  of  the  greatest 
intimacy.  He  has,  in  virtue  of  our  friendship,  requested  me 
to  give  his  son  a  letter  of  introduction  to  you.  He  lives  with 
your  treasurer,  as  far  as  I  understand.  But  it  is  his  father's 
design  that  he  should  prosecute  the  study  of  letters,  of  which 


'  Peter  Farnese,  son  of  Pope  Paul  III.,  had  in  truth  been  recently  assassinated  at 
Placentia,  and  that  city  had  opened  its  gates  to  Charles  V.  But  Parma  remained 
under  the  power  of  the  Pope,  who  in  vain  sued  for  justice  from  the  Emperor  on  ac- 
count of  the  murder  of  Farnese,  and  the  dispossession  of  his  children. — Robertson, 
History  of  Charles  V.,  B.  ix. 

"  The  Catholic  cantons  having  engaged  to  take  no  step  that  should  have  the  effect 
of  connecting  them  with  the  Emperor,  the  Reformed  cantons,  with  Berne  at  their  head, 
bound  themselves  to  the  strictest  neutrality,  and  informed  the  German  princes,  that 
they  could  give  them  no  aid  without  throwing  the  half  of  the  confederate  states  into 
the  hands  of  their  enemy.— i/;"**.  de  la  Suisse.     Tom.  xi.  p.  291. 


1547.]  MONSIEUR  DE   FALAIS.  145 

he  has  acquired  the  rudiments.  He  is  of  a  teachable  disposi- 
tion and  fond  of  study.  I  therefore  beg  of  you  to  recommend 
him  to  the  masters  of  your  school,  in  your  own  as  well  as  my 
name,  not  simply  in  the  ordinary  fashion,  that  greater  attention 
may  be  paid  to  him  than  if  he  were  unknown.  This  service 
will  be  highly  gratifying  to  me. 

Adieu,  illustrious  sir,  and  highly  revered  friend  in  the  Lord, 
along  with  your  fellow-ministers  and  brethren,  all  of  whom  you 
will  salute  in  my  name  and  in  that  of  my  brethren.  May  the 
Lord  be  continually  present  with  you,  and  bless  your  labours, 
I  also  wish  well  to  your  wife  and  children. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lai.  orig.  aiitogr. — Arcliices  of  Zurich.     GalUcana  Scripia.  p.  4.] 


CCYIIL — To  Monsieur  de  Falais. 

Return  of  Nicolas  Des  Gallars — stay  of  Fare!  and  Viret  at  Geneva. 

From  Geneva,  this  29th  of  September  1547. 

MoNSEiGNEUR, — Since  my  last  letter  nothing  new  has  oc- 
curred, except  that  our  brother  Des  Gallars  has  returned,  and 
has  also  brought  with  him  the  present  bearer  for  your  service, 
seeing  that  M.  Budd  did  not  find  the  person  ready  of  whom 
he  had  spoken  to  you.  I  think  and  feel  assured,  that  this 
man  will  quite  suit  you;  he  is  so  loyal  and  serviceable,  and 
knows  well  what  is  good  breeding,  so  as  to  demean  himself 
becomingly.  I  have  advised  that  he  should  come  hither  along 
with  you  as  soon  as  possible,  and  chiefly  because  I  do  not  know 
whether  you  have  resolved  to  undertake  the  journey.  I  have 
had  no  tidings  of  the  individual  about  whom  I  wrote  to  you,' 
only  I  have  heard  that  some  disturbance  had  broken  out  at 
Noyon,  which  may  possibly  have  delayed  him,  because  he  was 
to  have  been  accompanied  by  a  steward  of  his  own,  who  must 
have  been  detained  along  with  the  others. 

Master  William  Farel  and  Master  Peter  Viret  have  been 
here  for  a  week :  your  presence  alone  was  wanting  to  complete 
19 

'  M.  de  Moutmor.     See  not«,  p.  141. 


146  MONSIEUR  DE   FALAIS.  [1547. 

the  festival.  Everything  goes  on  as  usual.  May  God  of  his 
grace  correct  whatever  is  defective,  and  increase  whatever  little 
good  there  may  be.  The  good  Maldonado  cannot  raise  himself 
up;  so  that  there  is  no  hope  of  his  being  of  service  to  you  for 
the  present.  But  when  you  have  work  for  my  brother  to  do, 
he  will  make  up  for  the  former  failure. 

Monsieur,  having  presented  our  affectionate  remembrances, 
all,  as  well  to  yourself  as  to  Madame,  I  pray  our  good  Lord 
to  have  you  always  in  his  holy  keeping,  to  govern  you  by  his 
Holy  Spirit,  to  bless  and  to  help  you  in  every  way. 
Your  humble  brother  and  servant, 

John  Calvin. 

In  the  above  remembrances.  Master  "William,  Master  Peter, 
my  wife,  all  the  friends  are  included,  more  than  a  dozen.     I 
pray  also  to  our  Lord,  that  he  may  please  to  rule  your  whole 
household,  to  which  I  desire  to  be  heartily  commended. 
[Ft.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  194.] 


CCIX.— To  Monsieur  de  Falais. 

Ee-assuring  intelligence  on  the  state  of  Geneva — restoration  of  Maldonado. 

The  26<A  of  October  [1547.] 

MoNSEiGNEUR, — In  turning  over  my  papers  the  other  day 
for  another  purpose,  I  found  a  few  words  of  a  preface '  which  I 
had  written  on  the  return  of  Master  Peter  Viret.  I  now  send 
it  you,  .not  so  much  in  order  that  it  may  be  made  use  of,  as  to 
let  you  know  that  I  had  carefully  attended  to  what  you  had 
requested  of  me,  although  from  forgetfulness  it  had  been  left 
there. 

I  have  no  doubt  but  that  many  reports  are  flying  about  at 
present  concerning  the  affairs  of  this  town.  Whatever  you 
may  hear  of  them,  let  it  not  prevent  your  sleeping  quite  at 
your  ease;  for  there  is  a  vast  number  of  people  who  take  a 

'  For  The  Apology  of  M.  de  Falais. 


1547.]  FAREL.  147 

pleasure  in  lying,  not  merely  among  our  neighbours,  but  also 
of  those  within  the  town. 

The  good  Maldonado  is  raised  up  again  by  the  favour  of 
God,  but  not  without  great  difficulty. 

Monsieur,  having  humbly  commended  me  to  your  good  grace 
and  that  of  Madame,  I  pray  our  good  Lord  to  have  you  always 
in  his  holy  keeping.  I  look  for  tidings  of  you  about  the  end 
of  this  week. 

Your  humble  brother  and  servant, 

John  Calvin. 

[Fr.  orig.  aidogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Yol.  194.] 


CCX.— To  Farel. 

Sad  state  of  the  Eepublic — discouragement  of  the  Reformer. 

Geneva,  \4ih  December  1547. 

I  am  not  surprised,  and  I  am  thankful  that  you  feel  impa- 
tient because  so  few  letters  from  me  reach  you  at  this  time ; 
for  I  see  from  this  that  we  are  the  objects  of  solicitude  on 
your  part.  You  are,  moreover,  daily  hearing  many  reports, 
some  of  which  may  cause  you  bitter  sorrow,  and  others  in- 
spire you  with  various  fears  on  our  account.  The  rumours 
that  are  spread  abroad  are  almost  all  groundless ;  but  we  are 
oppressed  by  intestine  evils  that  are  so  little  public  as  hardly 
to  be  known,  unless  to  a  few  in  the  city.  The  wild  beast 
that  lately,  by  the  treachery  of  his  keepers,  escaped  from  his 
den,  breathes  nothing  but  threats.'  Macrin  being  cast  out, 
there  is  nothing  they  do  not  promise  themselves,  because 
they  are  confident  that  matters  are  now  entirely  in  their  own 
hands.  For  they  count  upon  this  [ejection]  as  constituting 
the  proof  of  oppressed  liberty.     Affairs  are  certainly  in  such 

*  According  to  the  testimony  of  the  Registers  of  Council,  Amy  Perrin  had  been  re- 
stored to  liberty,  on  bail,  at  the  instance  of  the  Seigneury  of  Berne  and  his  family, 
and  on  condition  of  begging  the  forgiveness  of  God  and  men,  and  paying  the  expenses 
of  justice. — Register,  23d  November  1547.  Had  this  legal  liberation  been  preceded 
by  the  escape  of  the  prisoner  ?    We  are  not  aware. 


148  viEET.  [1547. 

a  state  of  confusion  that  I  despair  of  being  able  longer  to  re- 
tain this  church,  at  least  by  my  own  endeavours.  May  the 
Lord  hear  your  incessant  prayers  in  our  behalf.  [My]  brother 
will  give  you  abetter  account  of  all  the  circumstances  [than  I 
can  do  by  letter.]  « 

Adieu,  most  upright  brother.    Salute  respectfully  all  the 
brethren. — Yours, 

John^Calvin-. 

[Laf.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.     Yol.  106.] 


CCXI.— To  YlRET.' 
Eising  at  the  Hotel  de  Ville — heroic  bearing  of  Calvin — trust  in  God  alone. 

[Geiteva,]  \Uh  JDecemher  1547. 

[The  enemy]  are  so  blinded  that  they  pay  no  regard  to  pro- 
priety. Yesterday  not  a  little  confirmed  a  suspicion  previously 
entertained  by  us,  that  they  were  shamelessly  striving  to  excite 
some  commotion.  The  Ttvo  Hundred  had  been  summoned. 
I  had  publicly  announced  to  my  colleagues  that  I  would  go  to 
the  senate-house.  We  were  there  a  little,  indeed,  before  the 
hour  of  meeting.  As  many  people  were  still  walking  about  in 
the  public  street,  we  went  out  by  the  gate  that  is  contiguous 
to  the  senate-house.  Numerous  confused  shouts  were  heard 
from  that  quarter.  These,  meanwhile,  increased  to  such  a  degree 
as  to  afford  a  sure  sign  of  an  insurrection.  I  immediately  ran 
up  to  the  place.  The  appearance  of  matters  was  terrible.  I 
cast  myself  into  the  thickest  of  the  crowds,  to  the  amazement 

'  The  scene  of  tumult  and  sedition  described  in  this  letter  left  so  lively  an  im- 
pression on  the  mind  of  Calvin,  that  he  recalled  it  seventeen  years  afterwards,  on  his 
deathbed,  in  his  farewell  to  the  ministers  of  Geneva,  subjoining  these  memorable 
words  : — "  Although  I  am  nothing,  yet  I  know  that  I  prevented  three  thousand  dis- 
turbances from  taking  place  in  Geneva;  but  take  courage,  you  will  become  strong, 
for  God  will  make  use  of  that  city,  and  will  maintain  it ;  and  I  assure  you  he  wiU 
keep  it." — Collection  de  M.  Troncliin,  a  Genlve,  Adieux  de  Calvin,  recueillia  i^ar 
Pinaut. 

The  Registers  of  Council  are  silent  on  this  scene,  the  date  of  which  has  been  given, 
by  a  frequently  repeated  mistake,  as  the  17th  September;  but  the  circumstances  tally 
with  the  13th  December  1547. 


1547.]  VIRET,  14d 

of  almost  every  one.  The  whole  people,  however,  made  a  rush 
towards  me;  they  seized  and  dragged  me  hither  and  thither, 
lest  I  should  sufifer  any  injury.  I  called  God  and  men  to  wit- 
ness that  I  had  come  for  the  purpose  of  presenting  my  body  to 
their  swrords.  I  exhorted  them,  if  they  designed  to  shed  blood, 
to  begin  with  me.  The  worthless,  but  especially  the  respectable 
portion  of  the  crowd,  at  once  greatly  relaxed  in  their  fervour.  I 
was  at  length  dragged  through  the  midst  to  the  Senate.  There 
fresh  fights  arose,  into  the  midst  of  which  I  threw  myself.  All 
are  of  opinion  that  a  great  and  disgraceful  carnage  was  pre- 
vented from  taking  place  by  my  interposition.  My  colleagues, 
meanwhile,  were  mixed  up  with  the  crowd.  I  succeeded  in 
getting  them  all  to  sit  down  quietly.  They  say  that  all  were 
exceedingly  affected  by  a  long  and  vehement  speech,  suitable 
to  the  occasion,  wliich  I  delivered.  The  exceptions  were  at 
least  few,  and  even  they,  not  less  than  the  respectable  part  of 
the  people,  praised  my  conduct  in  the  circumstances. 

God,  indeed,  protects  myself  and  colleagues  to  the  extent  of 
the  privilege  implied  in  the  declaration  of  even  the  most  aban- 
doned, that  they  abhor  the  least  injury  done  to  us  not  less  than 
they  detest  parricide.  Their  wickedness  has,  however,  reached 
such  a  pitch,  that  I  hardly  hope  to  be  able  any  longer  to  retain 
any  kind  of  position  for  the  Church,  especially  under  my  mi- 
nistry. My  influence  is  gone,  believe  me,  unless  God  stretch 
forth  his  baud. 

I  can  make  no  certain  reply  regarding  the  daughter  of  our 
neighbour,  because  having  once  already  found  the  father  diffi- 
cult to  manage  in  this  matter,  I  do  not  venture  to  raise  any 
expectation.  Nothing,  however,  would  be  more  expedient,  in 
my  judgment,  than  for  the  man  himself  to  come  hither;  for 
the  father  will  strenuously  demand  that  at  the  very  first. 
Nevertheless,  if  you  so  order  it,  we  shall  make  every  endeavour 
even  in  his  absence.  I  have  not  yet  spoken  to  the  brother  of 
Du-Plessis.     About  their  quarrel,  more  at  another  time. 

Adieu,  brother  and  most  sincere  friend.  Salute  your  colleague 
and  all  the  brethren.     My  wife  and  I  wish  yours  every  greeting. 
May  the  Lord  be  perpetually  present  with  you. — Ameu. 
[Lat.  orig.  autogr, — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  106.] 


150  MONSIEUR  DE   FALAIS.  [1547. 


CCXII.— To  Monsieur  de  Falais. 

Printing  of  The  Apology — troubles  at  Geneva. 

The  I2th  December  1547. 

MoNSEiGNEUR, — I  shall  not  at  present  write  a  very  long  letter 
to  you  because  I  was  not  informed  that  the  messenger  would 
go  away  so  soon.  He  is  an  engraver,  who  had  left  about  two 
hours  before  I  could  speak  to  our  printer.  Seeing,  therefore 
that  your  armorial  bearings  would  not  have  been  very  well 
suited  to  the  form  of  the  book,  I  immediately  sent  after  him, 
and  have  had  them  done  in  lead,  as  you  will  see  by  the  proof. 
I  feel  quite  confident  that  you  will  not  be  sorry  that  a  crown 
was  expended  to  make  the  thing  quite  complete.  The  print- 
ing of  the  book  is  not  yet  begun,  because  it  has  been  necessary 
to  recast  some  letters  of  the  fount,  which  is  the  same  with 
which  the  supplication  was  printed,  very  readable  and  hand- 
some. We  shall  begin  it  this  week,  if  the  Lord  will;  but  we 
shall  not  touch  the  Latin  at  all,  until  we  hear  from  yourself. 
As  I  have  no  spare  time  at  present,  I  shall  put  off  all  other 
matters,  and  send  you  an  answer  in  regard  to  them  by  Eobert, 
my  wife's  cousin. 

We  are  somewhat  annoyed  here  by  those  who  ought  to  bring 
us  peace.  I  hope,  however,  that  good  shall  result  from  it,  and 
that  shortly,  to  the  rejoicing  of  those  who  desire  that  God  may 
be  honoured.  But  while  our  brethren  are  persecuted  by  open 
enemies,  we  ourselves  must  needs  be  troubled  by  those  of  our 
own  household.  There  is  one  mercy,  however,  that  all  is  for 
our  profit,  provided  that  we  are  so  well  advised  as  thus  to  take 
it.  As  I  have  formerly  told  you,  do  not  be  disturbed  by  any- 
thing that  is  said,  setting  down  the  whole  as  falsehood,  until 
you  hear  from  us  how  matters  go. 

Monsieur,  having  humbly  commended  me  to  your  kind 
favour,  and  to  that  of  Madame,  and  the  whole  of  your  worthy 
family,  I  beseech  our  good  Lord  to  have  you  in  his  keeping,  to 


1547.]  VIRET.  151 

guide  you  by  his  Spirit,  to  send  you  what  to  him  may  seem 
meet  as  best  for  you. 

Your  servant  and  humble  brother, 

John  Calvin. 

I  have  sent  by  a  trusty  man  the  letter  of  M.  de  Yaran. 
[Fr.  orig.  autogr, — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  194.] 


CCXIII.— To  ViRET.i 

Invitation  to  come  to  Geneva, 

Geneva,  26«/i  December  1547. 

Amid  the  great  swellings  of  our  commotions,  I  ought  not, 
nevertheless,  to  have  gone  so  far  as  to  ask  you  to  come  hither, 
because  I  knew  that  you  were  detained  in  your  own  locality 
by  necessary  occupations ;  and  another  obstacle  stood  in  the 
way  of  it,  as  it  was  possible  some  rumour  of  your  coming 
might  thereupon  reach  the  Arctei.  Now,  as  I  hope  you  have 
more  leisure,  you  would  do  a  valuable  service  were  you  to 
make  yourself  ready  for  the  journey  on  the  earliest  possible 
day.  I  have  not  yet  made  up  my  mind  as  to  what  I  am 
finally  to  do,  beyond  this,  that  I  can  no  longer  tolerate  the 
manners  of  this  people,  even  although  they  should  bear  with 
mine :  and  withal  I  do  not  understand  why  they  object  to  my 
severity.  I  should  not,  however,  take  it  so  ill,  did  I  give 
them  offence  without  even  any  fault  on  my  part,  were  I  not 
becomingly  impressed  with  a  sense  of  their  wretchedness. 
For  how  little  of  life  remains  to  me,  that  I  should  be  solicitous 
about  myself?     But  I  am  foolish  in  handling  these  matters 

'  Disarmed  for  a  moment  by  the  heroic  attitude  of  Calvin  in  the  rising  of  the  13th 
December,  the  parties  that  divided  Geneva  were  not  slow  to  renew  their  lamcntabla 
strife.  The  voice  of  the  Reformer  was  disregarded,  and  he  wrote  with  deep  sadness 
on  the  23d  December, — "  Our  affairs  are  in  no  better  condition.  I  do  not  cease  to 
press  upon  them,  but  I  cause  them  to  make  little  or  no  advancement.  I  am  now  re- 
turning from  the  Senate ;  I  said  a  great  deal,  but  it  is  like  telling  a  story  to  the  deaf. 
May  the  Lord  restore  them  to  their  right  mind." — Calvin  to  Viret,  MSS.  of  Geneva, 
Vol.  106. 


152  FAREL.  [1547. 

in  a  letter,  when  I  am  confident  you  will  be  here  presently. 
Adieu,  brother,  and  dearest  friend.  May  the  Lord  Jesus  pro- 
tect you  along  with  your  wife  and  whole  family.  You  will 
salute  in  my  name,  and  in  that  of  the  brethren,  your  fellow- 
ministers. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

\Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  106.] 


CCXIY.— To  Farel. 

Publication  of  The  Antidote — statement  regarding  the  condition  of  Geneva. 

Geneva,  28<A  December  1547. 

My  Antidote'^  now  begins  to  please  me,  since  it  is  so  greatly 
approved  of  by  you,  for  before,  I  was  not  satisfied  with  it.  But 
you  who  know  my  daily  labours,  and  still  more  the  contests 
with  which  I  am  not  so  much  occupied  as  quite  wasted,  are 
perhaps  ready  to  excuse  me  when  there  is  anything  not  quite 
perfect.  I  certainly  marvel  that  any  composition  worthy  of 
perusal  can  emanate  from  me.  With  regard  to  your  exhorta- 
tion, that  my  colleagues  and  I  should  persist  with  unbroken 
resolution,  I  may  say  that  neither  dangers  nor  troubles  weaken 
my  determination.  But  as  I  am  sometimes  destitute  of  counsel 
in  matters  where  confusion  so  greatly  prevails,  I  desire  that  God 
would  grant  me  my  discharge, — a  foolish  wish  you  will  say;  I 
admit  that  it  is  so ;  but  what  did  Moses,  that  illustrious  example 
of  patience?  Does  he  not  complain  of  too  heavy  a  burden  being 
laid  on  his  shoulders  ?  I  also  am,  in  truth,  simply  tempted  by 
these  thoughts ;  I  do  not,  however,  give  way  to  them.  We 
have  inspired  some  fear  in  our  men,  and  nevertheless  there  is 
as  yet  no  appearance  of  amendment.     Such  is  their  shameless- 

'  Calvin  had  just  published  his  celebrated  treatise  of  the  Antidote,  {Acta  Si/nodi 
Tridentince  cum  Antidoto,  1547,)  which  he  translated  into  French  the  year  following, 
with  changes  fitted  to  bring  it  within  the  comprehension  of  the  people. —  Opuscules, 
p.  881.  In  this  work  the  Reformer  passes  in  review  the  decrees  of  the  Council  of 
Trent,  and  refutes  them  with  a  merciless  logic  and  a  marvellous  eloquence.  The 
Catholic  theologian  Cochlajus  replied  to  him  by  personal  attacks,  which  Des  Gallars 
and  Beza  undertook  to  refute. 


1547.]  FAREL.  153 

ness,  that  they  devour  with  open  and  regardless  ears  all  our 
clamours;  finally,  the  diseases  of  many  are  incurable.  For 
thus  fiir  we  have  essayed  almost  all  methods  with  no  success. 
The  last  act  remains,  at  which  I  wish  you  to  be  present.  You 
will,  I  suppose,  have  learned  from  my  letter  to  Viret,  how  God 
stilled  the  tragical  tumult ;  for  I  had  given  him  an  injunction 
to  that  effect.'  The  Two  Hundred  ordered  us,  and  the  other 
ten  peace  makers,  to  make  away  with  all  dissensions.^  I  wished 
that  the  initiative  should  be  taken  by  me.  Our  Caesar  yester- 
day denied  that  he  had  any  quarrel  with  me;  I  immediately 
pressed  out  the  matter  from  the  sore.  In  a  grave  and  calm 
speech,  I  made  certain  sharp  strictures,  but  such  as  were  cal- 
culated to  wound  very  slightly.  Although  he  promised  re- 
formation hand  in  hand,  I  am  afraid  that  I  have  preached  but 
to  the  deaf.  I  wish  you  would  again  gladden  me  by  your 
arrival.  I  am  aware  that  some  people  have  complained  to 
Viret  of  my  immoderate  severity.  I  know  not  what  his  belief  is. 
I  scented  out  the  fact,  however,  that  he  was  afraid  lest  I  should 
too  greatly  indulge  my  ardour.  I  have  requested  him  to  come 
hither.  One  in  Terence  says :  If  you  were  here,  you  would 
feel  differently.  I  might  say  the  same.  If  you  were  in  my 
place,  I  know  not  what  you  would  do.  But  amid  a  multitude 
of  sorrows,  this  likewise  must  be  patiently  borne.  I  do  not 
say  these  things  in  reply  to  you  or  Viret,  but  to  others  who 
idly  censure  us.  I  seem,  moreover,  to  see  your  sympathy  for 
me,  so  far  am  I  from  thinking  that  you  have  any  hostility 
towards  me.  Adieu,  best  and  most  upright  brother,  along 
with  your  whole  family,  whom  you  will  affectionately  salute 
in  my  name  and  in  that  of  my  wife,  as  well  as  all  fellow-min- 
isters, and  all  the  godly. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Calvin's  Lat.  Corresp.    Opera,  torn.  ix.  p.  49.] 

'  Seo  Letter,  p.  148. 

**  In  testimony  of  regard  for  Calvin,  the  Council  adopted  the  following  decree  : 
"Kesolvcd  to  present  to  Calvin  all  the  furniture  that  is  in  his  house  belonging  to  the 
city,  29th  December  15-17."  The  preceding  year  he  had  been  offered  ten  crowns  as  a 
present,  but  lie  refused  them,  praying  the  Council  to  distribute  them  among  the  other 
ministers  who  were  poor  compared  with  him,  "and  even  to  diminish  his  stipend  in 
order  to  benefit  them." 
20 


154  THE   FAMILY   OF   BUDE.  [1547, 


CCXV.— To  THE  Family  of  Bude.' 

Consolations  on  occasion  of  the  Death  of  one  of  its  Members. 

[1547.=] 

Messieurs  and  well-beloved  Brethren, — Although  the 
present  is  addressed  particularly  to  two  of  you,^  I  nevertheless 
write  in  such  wise,  that  if  you  think  fit  it  may  serve  for  the 
whole  household.  If  the  account  which  I  have  heard  of  the 
death  of  your  good  brother  and  mine  have  been  the  occasion 
of  joy  to  me,  as,  indeed,  there  was  good  reason  for  it,  you  who 
have  known  better  the  whole  matter,  have,  assuredly,  far  more 
ample  matter  for  rejoicing,  not  for  that  you  have  been  deprived 
of  so  excellent  a  companion,  on  which  account  both  you  and  I 
have  good  ground  for  regret — all  the  more  that  the  number  of 
those  who  in  the  present  day  walk  constantly  in  the  fear  of 
God  is  so  small  and  rare,  but  because  of  the  singular  grace 
which  God  had  conferred  upon  him,  of  perseverance  in  the  fear 
of  his  name,  the  faith  and  patience  which  he  has  manifested, 
and  other  tokens  of  true  Christianity.  For  all  that  is  as  a  mirror 
wherein  we  may  contemplate  the  strength  wherewith  our  kind 
heavenly  Father  assists  his  children,  and  most  of  all,  out  of 
their  greatest  difficulties.  Then,  also,  we  may  conclude  that 
his  death  was  indeed  happy  and  blessed,  in  the  face  of  him  and 

'  This  family  had  not  yet  quitted  Prance.  See  the  letters,  pp.  90,  119.  They 
received  this  new  letter  of  Calvin,  on  the  occasion  of  the  death  of  one  of  its  niemhers, 
perhaps  Mathieu  de  Bude,  who  had  corresponded  with  the  Reformer  in  1546,  and  of 
whom,  subsequent  to  this  period,  all  trace  is  lost.  There  exists  (MSS.  of  the  Library 
of  Geneva,  vol.  109)  a  letter  of  Mathieu  de  Bude  to  Calvin,  relative  to  the  assassi- 
nation of  John  Diaz  at  Neubourg.     We  remark  the  following  passage  : — "  I  have 

received  your  letter which  was  most  welcome  to  me,  as  well 

because  I  recognize  in  it  your  disposition  of  goodwill  and  love,  as  on  account  of  the 

ordinary  consolation  which  I  have  received  from  it " — 26th  April  1546. 

The  author  of  that  letter  is  not  mentioned  by  M.  Galiffe. — Notices  Ginialogiques, 
tom.  iii.  p.  83.  He  had  died,  no  doubt,  before  the  establishment  of  his  family  at 
Geneva. 

^  Dated,  on  the  back  of  the  letter,  in  a  foreign  hand. 

3  Doubtless  these  were  John  de  Bude,  Sieur  de  Verace,  and  Louis,  Sieur  de  la 
Motte,  his  brother. 


1547.]  THE   FAMILY   OF   BUDE.  155 

of  all  his  angels.  At  the  same  time,  you  must  reflect  that  it  is 
a  fine  example  for  you,  lest  it  be  converted  into  a  testimony 
against  you,  to  make  you  inexcusable  before  God,  the  great 
Judge.  For  inasmuch  as  he,  dying  as  a  Christian,  has  shewn 
you  how  you  ought  to  live,  it  is  certain  that  God  would  not 
have  such  a  testimony  to  be  useless.  Know,  then,  that  the 
death  ©f  your  brother  is  as  God's  trumpet,  whereby  he  would 
call  upon  you  to  serve  him  alone,  and  this  far  more  loudly 
than  if  your  brother  had  lived  ten  years  longer  to  exhort  you: 
while,  besides,  the  pious  exhortations  which  he  addressed  to 
you  are  ever  sounding  in  your  ears,  that  his  zeal  may  glow  in 
your  hearts,  that  his  earnest  and  instant  prayers  may  quicken 
you,  to  draw  you  towards  Him  to  whom  he  has  been  gathered 
and  restored  as  one  of  his  own.  I  do  not  doubt  that  his  ex- 
pressed condemnation  of  the  abuses  and  superstitions  which 
exist  in  Christendom,  may  have  given  occasion  of  murmuring 
to  many,  and  that  it  may  have  somewhat  aroused  the  rage  of 
the  adversaries  of  the  Gospel  against  the  whole  family;  but  it 
is  not  fitting  that  the  plots  and  threatenings  of  the  wicked 
should  have  more  power  to  discourage  our  hearts  than  so 
effectual  a  call  from  God  to  uphold  us.  In  short,  you  must 
take  heed  that  the  blessing  become  not  an  occasion  of  evil  to 
you;  wherefore,  if  hitherto  ye  have  begun  well,  which,  indeed, 
ought  to  prove  a  help  to  you  in  going  forward,  do  not  slacken, 
but  rather  redouble  your  ardour,  so  as  to  run  with  greater  dili- 
gence. I  am  not  ignorant  of  the  dangers  which  environ  you, 
and  am  not  so  devoid  of  fellow-feeling,  as  not  to  have  that 
sympathy  which  I  ought.  But  you  are  aware,  that  will  not 
excuse  such  a  degree  of  timidity  as  there  is  among  those  who 
mingle  in  the  world,  disguising  themselves  in  every  way;  and 
so  much  the  more  that  there  are  few  who  are  quite  exempt 
from  it,  our  duty  is  to  urge  and  provoke  one  another  forward; 
and  inasmuch  as  every  one  ought  to  do  his  utmost  to  walk 
according  to  the  measure  of  knowledge  vouchsafed  to  him,  you 
should  examine  the  more  narrowly  whereunto  ye  have  attained. 
For  you  cannot  pretend  the  common  excuse  wherewith  the  most 
part  cover  themselves,  as  with  some  moistened  rag  of  a  pallia- 
tive, namely,  that  God  has  not  yet  bestowed  so  much  grace  upon 


156  THE   FAMILY   OF   BUDE.  [1547. 

them.  For  besides  that  God  has  opened  your  eyes  to  make 
you  understand  with  what  zeal  you  ought  to  glorify  him  before 
men,  above  all,  the  profession  you  have  made  obliges  you  to  it 
as  well.  Nought  remains,  therefore,  except  that  you  disen- 
cumber yourself  of  worldly  anxieties,  to  seek  in  good  earnest 
the  everlasting  kingdom  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ.  And  if  it 
be  not  possible  to  confess  him  as  your  Saviour  where  ybu  are, 
you  should  far  rather  prefer  to  be  removed  for  a  little  while 
from  the  country  of  your  birth,  than  to  be  for  ever  banished  from 
that  immortal  inheritance  to  which  we  are  called.  Whether 
willingly  or  no,  we  must  needs  be  strangers  in  this  world; 
shall  we  then  refuse  even  to  stir  from  the  nest  ?  Happy,  .in- 
deed, are  they  who  declare,  not  merely  by  empty  profession, 
but  effectually,  that  they  are  so,  and  rather  than  decline  from 
the  faith,  are  quite  ready  at  once  to  quit  their  home,  and,  in 
order  to  dwell  in  union  with  Jesus  Christ,  make  no  difficulty 
about  parting  with  their  earthly  comforts.  These  are  hard 
sayings  to  those  who  have  not  tasted  the  worth  of  Christ;  but 
to  you  who  have  felt  his  power,  all  else  ought,  after  the 
example  of  Saint  Paul,  to  be  counted  but  as  filth  and  dung. 
Indeed,  it  is  not  enough  that  you  yourselves  keep  steadfast,  but 
if  there  be  others  who  are  weaker,  you  ought  to  strengthen 
them  by  your  admonitions,  and  to  look  well  to  it  that  there 
be  no  falling  away. 

I  myself  am  far  from  the  dealings  of  the  present  time ;  whether 
that  will  be  of  long  continuance  I  know  not.  But  I  speak  of 
a  thing  known  and  experimentally  ascertained.  It  is  a  great 
shame  that  with  such  a  measure  of  knowledge  as  God  has  vouch- 
safed us,  there  is  so  little  heart,  compared  with  the  ardour  of  the 
martyrs  who  have  gone  before  us,  who  were  ready  to  go  to  death 
so  soon  as  God  had  enlightened  them  with  a  far  less  amount 
of  understanding.  We  learn  somehow  to  make  shift  while  we 
ought  rather  to  be  learning  to  live;  but  there  are  others  in 
worse  plight  than  we;  for,  to  speak  the  truth,  there  are  many 
who  dare  not  venture  to  breathe  a  word,  but  are  content  to 
dream  apart,  and  to  feed  upon  their  fancies,  instead  of  rather 
seeking,  as  they  ought,  to  be  continually  exercised,  as  well  by 
reading  together  as  by  conference  and  godly  conversation,  the 


1548.]  MONSIEUR   DE   FALAIS.  157 

more  to  confirm  and  enkindle  holy  zeal.  I  have  no  reason  to 
distrust  you ;  but  you  will  pardon  my  anxiety,  which  pro- 
ceeds from  an  upright  love,  if  I  am  moved  to  warn  you  in  the 
name  of  God,  not  to  let  such  a  blessing  be  lost,  as  that  which 
God  has  sent  to  your  family ;  and  that  you  may  not  lessen  it, 
take  heed  to  grow  in  grace;  that  you  may  not  draw  back, 
determine  to  go  forward ;  that  you  may  not  come  short,  re- 
solve to  go  on  unto  perfection. 

Wherefore,  Messieurs  and  beloved  brethren,  after  hearty 
commendations  to  all  of  you  who  desire  the  kingdom  of  our 
Lord  Jesus  Christ,  and  serve  God  with  a  good  conscience,  I 
beseech  this  kind  Father  to  have  you  in  his  protection,  and  to 
make  you  feel  it,  so  as  you  may  lay  hold  upon  him  with  such 
boldness  as  should  belong  to  you,  that  he  would  guide  you  by 
his  Spirit  in  the  obedience  of  his  will,  and  glorify  himself  iu 
you,  even  unto  the  end. 

Charles  d'Espeville. 
[Fr.  Copy,  Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  168.] 


CCXYI.— To  Monsieur  de  Falais. 

Cost  of  printing  The  Apology — despatch  of  several  copies. 

The  2AtTi  of  January  1548. 

MoNSElGNEUR, — Until  the  return  of  Sire  Nicolas,  I  shall  not 
trouble  you  with  long  letters,  for  I  expect  more  ample  news  by 
him.  Eest  assured,  that  if  I  may  follow  my  inclination,  please 
God  I  shall  not  fail  to  keep  my  promise.'  But  seeing  that  I  am 
not  a  free  man,  I  must  needs  abide  the  course  of  events.  We 
have,  God  be  thanked,  another  sort  of  tranquillity  than  during 
the  time  of  billeting.  But  there  is  never  any  season  through- 
out the  year  in  which  I  have  not  my  work  cut  out  for  me,  and 

'  He  refers  to  the  promise  of  a  visit  to  M.  de  Falais.  Calvin  went  in  fact  to  Bale 
the  2d  of  Fctouary  following.  We  read  under  that  date,  in  the  Council  Registers  of 
the  state  of  Geneva  : — "  Calvin  went  to  Bale.  The  Council  offers  him  things  requisite 
for  the  voyage.     26th  February, — Calvin  on  his  return  from  Bale." 


158  MONSIEUR  DE   FALAIS.  [1548. 

more  than  I  could  well  get  through,  even  although  I  were  a 
tolerable  tailor. 

That  which  detains  me  at  this  time  would  be  explained  if  I 
could  only  come  to  you.  And,  besides,  were  I  to  be  prevented 
by  some  unlooked  for  business,  Master  Peter  Viret,  who  is  ready 
to  supply  my  place,  will  explain  it  to  you.  But  before  speak- 
ing of  a  substitute,  we  shall  see  what  the  Lord  will  allow. 

Concerning  the  books,'  at  the  price  which  I  have  agreed 
upon  with  the  printer,  together  with  what  has  been  paid  to  the 
engraver  of  the  armorial  bearings,  they  will  cost  you  about  a 
crown  the  hundred.  I  gave  three  florins  of  Savoy,  that  is  to 
say,  testons,  to  the  engraver  for  his  trouble ;  besides  which,  he 
got  his  victuals.  That,  with  about  a  teston  which  it  cost  him 
in  returning,  is  over  and  above  the  amount  for  printing.  There 
have  been  eight  hundred  copies  thrown  off.  I  have  allowed 
the  printer  to  retain  a  hundred  for  himself,  deducting  to  that 
amount  proportionally  upon  the  whole.  By  this  means  the 
object  has  been  attained  of  spreading  it  throughout  France.  I 
have  sent  away  here  and  there  about  fifty  copies  ;  among  others, 
one  to  Madame  de  Ferrara,^  which,  however,  need  not  prevent 
you  addressing  another  to  her,  along  with  a  letter.  The  seven 
hundred,  all  expenses  included,  amount  to  seven  crowns.  I 
believe  that  Een^,  diligence  excepted,  will  have  been  faithful. 

In  conclusion,  Monsieur,  having  commended  me  affection- 
ately to  your  kind  favour  and  that  of  Madame,  and  having 
also  presented  to  both  of  you  the  recommendations  of  my  wife, 
I  beseech  our  good  Lord  to  have  you  always  in  his  keeping, 
to  guide  you  by  his  Spirit,  and  to  increase  you  in  every  grace. 
Your  humble  brother  and  servant, 

John  Calvin. 

I  desire  particularly  to  be  remembered  to  the  excellent  young 
ladies  whom  I  have  not  yet  seen,  and  my  wife  the  like. 
[Fr.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  194.] 

'  The  Apology  of  M.  de  Falais. 

*  Renee  of  France,  Duchess  of  Ferrara.  See,  in  this  collection,  the  letters  of  Calvin 
to  that  princess. 


1548.]  MONSIEUR  DE   FALAIS.  159 


CCXYII. — To  Monsieur  de  Falais. 

Particulars  regarding  hie  departure,  anJ  the  purchase  of  a  property  near  Geneva. 

This  last  day  hut  one  of  February  15-18. 

MoNSEiGNEUR, — According  to  our  agreement,  the  coming  of 
Sire  Nicolas  Loser  will  afford  you  a  good  opportunity  for 
making  the  journey,  if  your  health  admits  of  it.'  He  ought  to 
go  as  far  as  Strasbourg ;  but  in  order  that  you  may  not  be  de- 
layed, I  have  somewhat  hastened  his  departure.  To  those  who 
make  inquiry  of  me,  I  reply,  that  already  you  are  wishing  to 
be  here;  but  that  whether  you  shall  come  or  no,  will  be  seen 
in  due  time. 

Eegarding  the  payment,  which  you  have  hinted  to  me,  I 
believe  that  you  will  be  disposed  to  grant  it.  We  shall  speak 
about  that,  however,  when  you  are  on  the  spot.  The  minister 
of  the  village^  is  a  good  sort  of  a  man.  But  it  will  be  for 
yourself  to  decide  when  you  shall  have  arrived.  Meantime 
we  shall  look  about,  here  and  there,  that  you  may  choose  what 
best  pleases  you.  I  shall  take  care  of  the  two  receipts  until 
your  arrival. 

To  conclude.  Monsieur,  having  commended  me  humbly  to 
your  kind  favour,  I  beseech  our  good  Lord  to  uphold  you 
always  in  his  keeping,  to  lead  you  by  his  Spirit,  and  to  aid 
you  in  all  and  throughout.  We  pray  you,  my  wife  and  my- 
self, to  present  also  our  humble  commendations  to  Madame, 
not  forgetting  Mademoiselle  de  BrMan. 

Your  servant,  humble  brother,  and  sincere  friend, 

John  Calvin. 

I  thought,  indeed,  that  Sire  Nicolas  Loser  would  have  left, 
and  that  he  was  to  be  my  messenger,  but  this  will  not  be  for 

'  In  the  journey  which  he  had  recently  made  to  Bale,  Calvin  had  decided  M.  de 
Falais  to  come  and  fix  himself  definitively  at  Geneva. 

*  Veigy,  near  Geneva.  M.  de  Falais  made  there  the  purchase  of  a  domain  which  he 
occupied  during  several  years. 


IGO  BULLINGEE.  [1548. 

five  or  six  days  yet ;  and  to  avoid  delay  I  liave  thought  it  well 
to  send  the  present  by  M.  Brevassis. 

[Ft:  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.     Vol.  194.] 


CCXVIII.— To  Heney  Bullinger.' 

Brotherly  explanations  regarding  the  difference  on  the  subject  of  the  Communion. 

Geneva,  1st  March  1548. 

I  hardly  know  what  prevented  me  from  replying  sooner  to 
you,  unless  it  were  that  no  trustworthy  messenger  presented 
himself  who  roused  me  to  diligence.  But  when  I  heard  that  the 
ambassador  of  your  city  was  here,  I  was  unwilling  to  be  guilty 
of  allowing  him  to  depart  without  a  letter  from  me.  I  pass 
over  in  silence  the  long  reply  in  which  you  seek  to  wash  away  all 
those  points  of  difference  about  wh  ich  I  had  carefully  admonished 
you.  For  of  what  avail  is  it  for  us  to  enter  on  a  controversy  ? 
I  made  a  note  of  those  points  in  your  book  that  did  not 
satisfy  myself,  or  that  might  prove  unsatisfactory  to  others,  or 
such  as  I  thought  might  not  meet  the  approbation  of  the  pious 
and  learned.  I  did  that  at  your  request,  I  discharged  the 
duty  of  a  friend;  if  you  think  differently,  you  are  at  liberty  to 
do  so,  as  far  as  I  am  concerned.  It  would  certainly  not  be  the 
last  of  my  wishes  that  there  should  be  perfect  harmony  between 
us.  But  in  whatever  way  I  may  hold  the  firm  persuasion  of  a 
greater  communication  of  Christ  in  the  Sacraments  than  you 
express  in  words,  we  will  not,  on  that  account,  cease  to  hold 
the  same  Christ,  and  to  be  one  in  him.  Some  day,  perhaps, 
it  will  be  given  us  to  unite  in  fuller  harmony  of  opinion.  I 
have  always  loved  ingenuousness,  I  take  no  delight  in  subtleties, 
and  those  who  charge  others  with  obscurity,  allow  me  the 
merit  of  perspicuity.  Neither,  accordingly,  can  I  be  charged 
with  guile,  who   never  artfully  affect  anything  to  gain    the 

'  See  letter  to  Bullinger  of  19th  September  1547,  p.  143.  The  observations  of  Calvin 
on  the  treatise  on  the  Sacraments  being  badly  received,  as  it  appears,  by  the  minister 
of  the  Church  of  Zurich,  had  led,  on  the  part  of  the  latter,  to  a  temporary  coldness,  of 
•which  Calvin  complained  in  a  letter,  characterized  alike  by  the  noblest  independence 
and  the  most  Christian  affection. 


1548.]  BULLINGER.  161 

favour  of  men  ;  and  my  method  of  instruction  is  too  simple  to 
admit  of  any  unfavourable  suspicion,  and  too  detailed  to  offend 
on  the  ground  of  obscurity.  Wherefore,  if  I  do  not  give 
uniform  satisfaction,  indulgence  must  be  extended  to  me  be- 
cause I  study  in  good  faith,  and  with  perfect  candour,  openly 
to  declare  what  I  have  to  say.  It  was  on  this  account  that 
lately,  when  at  Bdle,  I  felt  surprise  at  your  complaint,  as  a 
friend  reported  to  me,  that  I  taught  differently  in  my  Com- 
mentaries from  what  I  had  held  out  to  you.  I  replied  in  one 
sentence,  which  was  the  truth,  that  I  used  the  same  language 
at  Zurich  as  at  Geneva.  I  was,  however,  disposed  to  attribute 
the  whole  statement,  be  it  what  it  might,  to  the  mistake  of  my 
informant.  At  a  time  when  it  was  dangerous  for  me  to  declare 
in  language  what  views  I  held,  I  did  not  turn  aside  from  the 
straight  line  by  foregoing  the  free  and  firm  announcement  of 
my  opinions  in  every  particular,  even  so  far  as  to  bend  the 
most  rigid  to  some  sort  of  moderation.  Why  then  should  I 
now,  without  any  necessity,  change  at  once  my  general  mod^ 
of  procedure  and  my  convictions  ?  If,  however,  I  fail  in  per- 
suading men  of  the  truth  of  this,  I  shall  be  content  to  have 
God  as  the  witness  of  my  confession. 

Your  ambassador  will  give  you  a  fuller  and  more  perfect 
account  of  affairs  in  France  than  I  can  compress  in  a  letter. 
I  wish  they  were  of  such  a  kind  as  it  would  give  you  pleasure 
to  hear ;  but  there  is  nothing  except  sad  news  daily.  Although 
he  was  ordered  to  abstain  from  all  the  abominations  of  the 
Papacy,  he  could  not  avoid  observing  a  disgraceful  profana- 
tion of  the  sacred  ordinance  of  baptism. 

Adieu,  illustrious  sir,  and  highly  to  be  revered  brother  in 
the  Lord.  You  will  respectfully  salute  in  my  name  Masters 
Pellican,  Bibliander,  Walter,  and  the  other  fellow-ministers 
and  masters  of  the  school.  May  the  Lord  Jesus  guide  you  by 
his  own  Spirit,  bless  your  pious  labours,  and  preserve  you 
safe. 

All  my  colleagues  also  reverently  salute  you.  To  your  wife 
and  family  the  best  greeting. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  ori(/.  autogr. — Aixli.  of  Zurich.     Gcdlicana  Scripta,  p.  8.] 
2L 


162  MONSIEUR  DE   FALAIS.  [1548. 


CCXIX.  —  To  Monsieur  de  Falais. 

Obstacles  to  his  departure — delay  of  some  months. 

The  3d  of  A2n-{1  (\5iS.') 

MoNSEiGNEUR, — Your  letter  has  arrived  just  in  time  to  stop 
the  departure  of  my  brother ;  for  that  was  a  settled  matter,  if 
I  had  not  been  informed.  But  in  my  opinion  the  reasons 
which  detain  you  where  you  are,  are  not  of  such  importance  as 
you  deem  them.  You  see  how  familiarly  I  write  to  you  on 
this  point,  and  I  do  not  fear  to  do  so,  being  authorized  by  your- 
self. I  had  not  thought  that  you  would  need  expressly  to  re- 
nounce your  rights  as  a  burgess,'^  although  I  foresaw  clearly 
that  it  would  amount  to  a  tacit  renunciation  when  you  settled 
your  domicile  in  another  seigneury.  Seeing  that  there  is  an 
advantage  in  it,  you  are  right  to  go  thither,  unless  we  could 
effect  some  such  arrangement  as  the  following:  that  even  were 
you  to  be  longer  absent,  they  should  allow  you  to  remain  upon 
the  roll,  on  condition  of  your  providing  a  substitute  who  should 
discharge  during  your  absence  your  duties  as  a  burgess;  or 
even  if  there  was  no  hope  of  that,  might  you  not  present  a  new 
request,  notwithstanding  the  reply  which  they  have  given  you, 
to  beg  of  them,  that  in  the  event  of  its  suiting  your  conveni- 
ence to  remain  here,  or  that  after  you  were  come  here,  it  might 
not  suit  you  to  return,  they  should  be  satisfied  with  your  re- 
nunciation by  a  procurator?  But  I  would  state  the  two  condi- 
tions thus:  that  notwithstanding  the  reply  they  have  made  to 
you,  inasmuch  as  you  are  uncertain  when  you  shall  have  come 
hither,  whether  you  shall  think  fit  to  fix  your  residence  here, 
you  would  therefore  beg  of  them,  that  on  condition  of  your  en- 
gaging, as  indeed  you  ought,  to  supply  any  deficiency  that  may 
arise  owing  to  your  absence,  it  would  please  them  still  to  retain 
you  for  some  time  on  the  roll  of  burgesses — in  fact,  to  grant 

•  On  the  back,  in  the  handwriting  of  M.  de  Falais  : — Received  the  12th  April  1548. 
'M.  de  Falais  coiild  not  establish  himself  at  Geneva,  -without  losing  the  right  of  a 
burgess,  which  he  had  acquired  at  Bale. 


1548.]  MONSIEUR   DE   FALAI3.  163 

an  extension  of  your  leave.  Or,  at  the  least,  fearing  to  be 
troublesome  by  your  importunity,  that  you  pray  them  to  accept 
a  renunciation  by  letter,  on  account  of  your  bodily  weakness, 
as  they  are  aware  that  it  is  not  very  easy  for  you  to  move  from 
place  to  place.  By  so  doing,  you  will  remove  the  suspicion 
they  may  have  conceived,  that  you  mean  to  abandon  them 
entirely.  However  it  may  turn  out,  I  think  they  will  have 
good  reason  to  be  satisfied.  In  any  case,  I  never  expected  that 
the  rights  of  a  burgess  would  be  long  continued  to  you. 

Touching  the  rumour  which  your  clowns  have  spread  abroad 
in  order  to  calumniate  you,  it  scarcely  astonishes  me.  I  had 
quite  laid  my  account  with  it,  that  you  would  not  get  away 
without  many  of  them  letting  loose  their  tongues.  And  you 
must  be  prepared  for  that,  as  well  for  the  other  year  as  for  this 
one.  You  have  this  comfort,  however,  that  it  all  "very  soon 
goes  off  in  smoke.  I  am  still  less  alarmed  at  the  threat  whis- 
pered in  the  ear,  for  it  would  need  great  courage  to  venture  on 
such  a  step;  and  I  know  not  who  would  dare  to  be  the  leader 
in  an  affair  of  so  great  difficulty  and  hazard.  In  short,  I  can 
perceive  no  danger  for  you,  according  to  our  arrangement  of 
each  day's  journey.  But  seeing  that  you  think  it  better  to  put 
it  off  for  some  months,  and  that  the  advice  of  some  friends  is 
to  that  purport,  I  have  no  mind  to  press  it  further,  and  would 
rather  agree  to  this  delay,  than  by  urging  you  to  a  contrary 
course  lead  you  to  incur  the  risk  of  mischief  or  of  annoyance. 

I  know  not  whether  this  summer  will  disclose  the  councils  of 
those  who  may  set  the  world  in  confusion.'  For  my  part,  I  do 
not  think  so,  unless  some  new  accident  turn  up.  However,  I 
do  not  so  much  place  reliance  upon  my  own  conjectures,  as  I 
await  the  course  of  events  in  submission  to  the  will  of  God. 

Although  your  coming  hither  may  be  stayed  for  a  seasoUj  it 
will  be  of  no  consequence  as  regards  the  house,  for  I  had  con- 
cluded no  agreement  about  it.  Only  I  had  purchased  a  good 
cask  of  wine,  such  as  it  would  be  difficult  to  get  again.  But 
I  have  got  rid  of  it  without  any  difficulty,  and  even  as  a  favour 

'  The  Emperor,  and  the  new  king  of  France,  Henry  IL  Faithful  to  the  policy  of 
Francis  I.,  a  persecutor  of  the  Reformation  in  his  own  States,  the  latter  was  about  to 
conclude  a  secret  treaty  with  the  Protestant  princes  of  Germany. 


164  FAKEL.  [1548. 

to  the  purchaser.  Therefore  it  will  be  for  you  to  consider  how 
matters  go  yonder,  and  thereupon  to  decide.  And  do  not  annoy 
yourself  lest  any  one  should  be  offended  by  your  change  of 
plan,  for  although  all  your  acquaintances  desire  much  to  see 
you  here,  still  there  is  not  one  of  them  who  does  not  prefer 
your  quiet  and  convenience. 

If  I  could  have  found  a  suitable  messenger,  I  would  not  have 
waited  so  long  before  sending  the  complement  of  the  Apologies. 
But  I  know  not  by  what  means  to  do  so,  for  up  to  this  time^ 
no  opportunity  either  of  carrier  or  bearer  has  occurred.  When 
I  can  find  one,  I  shall  not  fail  to  do  so.  About  the  Latin  copies 
you  have  never  expressed  to  me  your  wish,  as  far  as  I  know. 
Perhaps  you  would  rather  defer  doing  so  until  your  arrival. 
Let  me  know  your  mind  regarding  this,  if  you  please,  in  one 
word ;  if  you  would  have  them  printed,  it  shall  be  done. 

To  conclude,  Monseigneur,  having  humbly  commended  me 
to  your  kind  favour,  I  beseech  our  good  Lord  to  keep  you  in 
his  protection,  to  have  such  a  care  of  you  as  that  all  your  steps 
may  be  directed  by  him,  and  to  make  you  serviceable  always 
more  and  more  for  his  own  glory.  My  wife  also  presents  her 
humble  commendations,  and  both  of  us  desire  to  be  remembered 
to  Madame  and  to  Mademoiselle  de  Br^dan. 
Your  humble  brother  and  servant, 

John  Calvin. 

\Fr.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  194.] 


CCXX.— To  Farel.i 

Distressing  condition  of  the  Swiss  churches. 

Geneva,  30<A  April  1548. 

My  grief  prevents  me  from  saying  anything  of  the  dreadful 
calamity  that   hangs  over  so  many  churches.    Michael  will 

'  While  persecution  decimated  the  Reformed  Churches  of  France,  and  the  proclama- 
tion of  the  Interim  dispersed  those  of  Germany,  the  Swiss  Churches  were  a  prey  to  the 
most  grievous  dissensions,  and  appeared  further  removed  than  ever  from  that  era  of 
unity  and  peace  which  Calvin  never  ceased  to  invoke  for  them. 


1548.]  FAREL  AND   VIRET.  165 

inform  you  of  what  I  wrote  to  Yiret.  The  cause  is  of  such  a 
nature  that  no  one  is  to  be  reckoned  among  the  servants  of 
Christ  who  does  not  come  forward  boldly  in  his  defence.  But 
there  is  need  of  counsel  and  some  moderation.  Should  Viret 
agree  to  it,  I  shall  presently  hasten  to  your  quarter,  that  we 
three  may  thence  proceed  together  to  Zurich.  As  to  the  rest, 
Viret  and  I  marvelled  as  to  what  decision  by  arbitration  you 
referred  to ;  for  neither  of  us  has  hitherto  heard  anything  of 
the  matter.  I,  indeed,  assert  for  certain,  that  no  hint  of  any 
kind  was  ever  given  to  me.  See,  therefore,  who  has  under- 
taken this  business.  You  will  hear  the  other  matters  from  the 
messengers. 

Adieu,  brother  and  most  sincere  friend,  along  with  your 
family  and  fellow-ministers,  whom  I  desire  respectfully  to 
salute.  May  the  Lord  preserve  you  all  and  govern  you  by  his 
own  Spirit. — Amen.     Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  106.] 


CCXXI— To  Farel  and  Viret.^ 

Disputes  among  the  ministers  of  Berne — and  Calvin's  journey  thither. 

Geneva,  9fA  3Iay  1548. 

After  receiving  your  last  letter,  I  had  set  out  on  my  journey; 
but  meeting  the  father-in-law  of  my  brother  Coppet  who  told 
me  that  you  had  left  Berne  three  days  before,  I  returned  home 
for  several  reasons,  which,  if  it  shall  be  deemed  necessary,  I 
will  detail  to  you  when  I  see  you.  Make  me  now  aware  of 
what  you  intend  to  do;  for  I  will  straightway  execute  what- 
ever you  shall  demand,  without  the  slightest  deliberation.  I 
have  not  yet  been  able  to  understand  the  result  of  your  pro- 

'  "  Calvin  informs  the  Council  of  certain  disputes  between  the  Seigneury  and  the 
ministers  of  Berne,  which  have  gone  so  far  that  three  of  the  ministers  of  said  city  have 
been  deposed,  besides  Peter  Viret  of  Lausanne ;  requests  that  leave  may  be  given  him 
to  go  to  Berne  to  defend  Viret,  which  was  granted  him  ;  the  Seigneury,  besides,  un- 
dertaking to  defray  the  expenses  of  the  journey." — Registers  of  Council,  May  7, 1548. 


166  viRET.  [1548. 

ceedings.  Giron  and  Zerkinden  requested  greetings  to  me. 
When  Nicolas  asked  whether  they  had  anything  to  say  besides, 
he  got  the  answer  that  there  was  nothing  good.  I  hence  sus- 
pect that  the  matter  is  worse  than  they  were  willing  to 
express.  Adieu,  brethren  most  dear  to  me.  Both  of  you 
salute  the  brethren.  May  God  preserve  you  all,  guide  you 
by  his  own  Spirit,  and  establish  you  amid  these  stormy 
troubles. 

When  you,  Viret,  have  read  Bucer's  letter,  you  will  give  it 
to  the  bearer  of  this  that  it  may  be  carried  to  Farel.  I  have 
understood,  besides,  that  Duke  Christopher  of  Wurtemberg, 
with  his  father,  has  set  out  for  the  court  of  the  Emperor.  We 
thus  see  that  all  is  in  the  hand  of  one.  Nevertheless  the 
Lord  will  either  close  it,  or  wither  it,  or  cut  it  off,  as  seems 
good  to  him. 

[Lat.  orig.  auiogr. — Library  of  Geneva.     Vol.  106.] 


CCXXII.— To  Viret. 

Communications  regarding  affairs  at  Berne. 

[Geneva,  Jime  1548.] 

You  will  say  to  Farel  that  I  had  written  to  Bucer  before  his 
letter  reached  me.  I  send  you  a  copy  of  a  letter  to  Sulzer,  I 
have  resolved  to  write  to  Bullinger  and  Haller,  should  I  be 
permitted  and  have  leisure.  This  is  the  reason  why  I  do  not 
return  the  letter  of  Gualter.  It  is  necessary  that  the  threats 
of  Ludovic  form  the  matter  of  judicial  inquiry  by  the  brethren. 
When  he  shall  have  been  convicted  by  them,  I  doubt  not  but 
that  he  will  be  proceeded  against  according  to  law.  I  shall 
indicate  in  my  next  letter,  what  form  of  process  I  think  should 
be  adopted.  Adieu,  dearest  brother  in  the  Lord,  and  most 
sincere  friend.  I  sincerely  congratulate  you  on  the  safe  delivery 
of  your  wife,  and  the  addition  to  your  family.'     I  wish  that  I 

'  By  his  second  wife,  Sebastienne  de  la  Harpe,  Viret  had  three  daughters,  designated 
in  his  will  as  Marie,  Marthe,  and  Jeanne. — {3IS.  of  the  Arch,  of  Geneva.) 


1548.]  VIRET.  16^7 

could  be  present  at  the  baptism.  This  desire  I  assuredly 
cherish  in  common  with  yourself.  But  I  shall  be  present 
with  you  in  spirit. 

May  the  Lord  continue  to  bless  you  in  all  things. — Amen 
[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  106.] 


CCXXIII.— To  YiRET.' 

Ecclesiastical  tyranny  of  the  Seigneurs  of  Berne — sojourn  of  Ideletto  do  Bure  at 

Lausanne. 

[Geneva,]  IbOi  June  1548. 

I  took  care  to  have  a  copy  of  the  letter  which  I  wrote  to 
Bullinger  and  Haller  transcribed  for  you,  in  case  its  contents 
should  be  reported  differently  from  what  you  may  have  thought 
it  proper  they  should  have  been ;  for,  as  far  as  I  am  concerned, 
the  letter  itself  contains  my  opinion  to  the  best  of  my  judg- 
ment. If  the  reason  must  be  assigned,  I  not  only  look  to  what 
is  becoming  in  honourable  men,  but  I  further  fear  that  we 
may  suffer  a  heavy  penalty  if,  by  servile  dissimulation,  we 
strengthen  the  tyrannical  power  which  barbarous  men  already 
openly  usurp.  We  may  serve  Jodocus,^  and  other  such  beasts, 
provided  only  they  form  no  barrier  to  our  serving  Christ;  but 
when  the  truth  of  God  is  trodden  down,  woe  to  our  cowardice 
if  we  permit  this  to  be  done  without  protest.  It  should  not 
even  be  tolerated  that  an  innocent  man  should  suffer  injury. 
At  this  time,  both  numerous  servants  of  Christ  and  his  doctrine 
itself  are  assailed.  Is  it  not  full  time  that  all  the  godly,  both 
collectively  and  individually,  should  raise  their  heads  in  his 
cause?     But,  nevertheless,  that  you  may  come  to  a  free  decision 

'  See  letter  of  9th  May  preceding.  The  relations  between  the  Vaudois  ministers  and 
the  Scigneury  of  Berne,  became  daily  more  complicated.  A  Synod  assembled  at  Lau. 
sanno,  having  ventured  formally  to  propound  ten  propositions  contrary  to  the  celebrated 
disputation  of  Borne,  and  to  manifest  an  inclination  in  favour  of  ecclesiastical  disci- 
pline, with  the  concurrence  of  two  Bernese  ministers,  Beat  Gerung  and  Simon  Sulcer, — 
these  two  clergymen  were  arbitrarily  deposed  by  the  Scigneury,  under  the  pretext  of 
"  the  maintenance  of  peace  and  tranquillity  in  the  Church." — Iluchat,  torn.  v.  pp. 
357,  358. 

"Jodocus,  minister  of  the  Church  of  Berne. 


X68  HENRY   BULLINGER.  [1548. 

making  no  account  of  my  pre-judgment  of  the  case,  you  are 
not  only  permitted,  so  far  as  I  am  concerned,  but  I  even  wish 
you  to  give  your  opinion.  Should  it  seem  proper  to  allow 
Farel  a  reading,  I  will  take  care  that  .another  copy  be  sent  to 
him,  that  I  may  receive  back  the  one  I  send  to  you. 

It  is  truly  a  source  of  pain  to  me  that  my  wife  should  have 
been  so  great  a  burden  to  you ;  for  she  could  not  have  been  of 
much  service  to  your  wife  when  confined,  so  far  as  I  can 
divine,  since  she  herself,  on  account  of  the  state  of  her  health, 
stood  in  need  of  the  assiduous  attentions  of  others.  It  is 
matter  of  comfort  to  me  to  be  persuaded  that  you  would  not 
bear  it  impatiently. 

Adieu,  brother  and  most  sincere  friend.  May  the  Lord 
guide  you,  and  protect  your  whole  family — Amen.     Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  copy.— Library  of  Geneva.    Yol.  111.] 


CCXXIV.— To  Henry  Bullinger.' 

New  explanations  regarding  the  Supper — Violence  of  some  of  the  Bernese  ministers- 
Calvinism  and  Buceranism. 

Geneva,  26th  June  1548. 

Your  letter  at  length  reached  me,  eight  days  after  I  had 
arrived  at  home.  Eeust  was  not  himself  the  bearer  of  it;  it 
was  brought  by  Eoset.  The  former,  I  suppose,  was  less  soli- 
citous about  the  delivery  of  it,  as  he  had  found  a  master  with- 
out our  assistance.  We  both,  however,  courteously  placed  our 
services  at  his  disposal.  With  regard  to  your  small  treatise  to 
which  you  refer  in  your  letter,  I  wish,  my  Bullinger,  as  we 
were  lately  in  your  quarter,  it  had  not  been  troublesome  to  you 
and  your  colleagues  to  have  talked  together  in  a  quiet  way  of 

'  See  the  letters,  pp.  143, 160.  In  a  new  message  to  Bullinger,  Calvin  strove  to  dis- 
sipate the  still  lingering  prejudices  entertained  by  the  Zurich  theologians  against  those 
of  Geneva  and  of  Strasbourg,  regarding  the  Sacraments;  and  he  proposed  the  basis 
of  that  union,  long-desired,  which  was  consummated  the  following  year  between  Zurich 
and  Geneva.  The  Church  of  Berne,  now  deeply  imbued  with  Lutheran  Views,  refused 
its  adhesion. 


1548.]  HEXRY   BULLINGER.  169 

the  vvliolo  matter.     There  would  assuredly  have  been  some  ad- 
vantage in  this;  for  I  had  not  come  prepared  for  a  stage  dis- 
play, which  is  not  less  disagreeable  to  myself  than  it  is  to  you, 
to  say  nothing  of  Farel,  whose  disposition  you  are  also  aware 
is  utterly  averse  from  ostentation.    But  we  were  anxious  to 
discuss  with  you  in  a  familiar  way,  and  with  not  the  least 
desire  to  engage  in  formal  debate,  those  points  with  regard  to 
which  we  are  most  nearly  at  one.     And  this  indeed  were  the 
best  method  of  procedure  among  brethren,  and  one  we  should 
have  found  profitable,  unless  I  am  greatly  deceived.     For  with 
regard  to  the  Sacraments  iu  general,  we  neither  bind  up  the 
grace  of  God  with  them,  nor  transfer  to  them  the  work  or 
power  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  nor  constitute  them  the  ground  of 
the  assurance  of  salvation.    We  expressly  declare  that  it  is  God 
alone,  who  acts  by  means  of  the  Sacraments;  and  we  maintain 
that  their  whole  efficacy  is  due  to  the  Holy  Spirit,  and  testify 
that  this  action  appears  only  in  the  elect.     Nor  do  we  teach 
that  the  sacrament  is  of  profit,  otherwise  than  as  it  leads  us  by 
the  hand  to  Christ,  that  we  may  seek  in  him  whatever  blessings 
there  are.     I  do  not  in  truth  see  what  you  can  properly  desire 
as  wanting  in  this  doctrine,  which  teaches  that  salvation  is  to 
be  sought  from  Christ  alone,  makes  God  its  sole  author,  and 
asserts  that  it  is  accepted  only  through  the  secret  working  of 
the  Spirit.     We  teach,  however,  that  the  sacraments  are  instru- 
ments of  the  grace  of  God ;  for,  as  they  were  instituted  in  view 
of  a  certain  end,  we  refuse  to  allow  that  they  have  no  proper 
use.     We  therefore  say,  that  what  is  represented  in  them,  is 
exhibited  to  the  elect,  lest  it  should  be  supposed  that  God 
deludes  the  eyes  by  a  fallacious  representation.     Thus  we  say, 
that  he  wlio  receives  baptism  with  true  faith,  further  receives  by 
it  the  pardon  of  his  sins.     But  lest  any  one  should  ascribe  his 
salvation  to  baptism  as  the  cause,  we  at  the  same  time  subjoin 
the  explanation,  that  the  remission  flows  from  the  blood  of 
Christ,  and  that  it  is  accordingly  conferred  by  baptism  only  iu 
so  far  as  this  is  a  testimony  of  the  cleansing  which  the  Son  of 
God  by  his  own  blood  shed  on  the  cross  procured  for  us,  and 
which  he  offers  for  your  enjoyment  by  faith  in  his  gospel,  and 
brings  to  perfection  in  our  hearts  by  his  Spirit.     Our  opinion 
22 


170  HENRY   BULLINGER.  [1548. 

regarding  regeneration  is  precisely  similar  to  that  about  baptism. 
When  the  signs  of  the  flesh  and  blood  of  Christ  are  spread 
before  us  in  the  Supper,  we  say  that  they  are  not  spread  before 
us  in  vain,  but  that  the  thing  itself  is  also  manifested  to  us. 
Whence  it  follows,  that  we  eat  the  body  and  drink  the  blood  of 
Christ,  By  so  speaking,  we  neither  make  the  sign  the  thing, 
nor  confound  both  in  one,  nor  enclose  the  body  of  Christ  in  the 
bread,  nor,  on  the  other  hand,  imagine  it  to  be  infinite,  nor 
dream  of  a  carnal  transfusion  of  Christ  into  us,  nor  lay  down 
any  other  fiction  of  that  sort.  You  maintain  that  Christ,  as 
to  his  human  nature,  is  in  heaven ;  we  also  profess  the  same 
doctrine.  The  word  heaven  implies,  in  your  view,  distance 
of  place;  we  also  readily  adopt  the  opinion,  tliat  Christ  is 
undoubtedly  distant  from  us  by  an  interval  of  place.  You 
deny  that  the  body  of  Christ  is  infinite,  but  hold  that  it  is 
contained  within  its  circumference;  we  candidly  give  an 
unhesitating  assent  to  that  view,  and  raise  a  public  testimony 
in  behalf  of  it.  You  refuse  to  allow  the  sign  to  be  con- 
founded with  the  thing;  we  are  sedulous  in  admonishing 
that  the  one  should  be  distinguished  from  the  other.  You 
strongly  condemn  impanation ;  we  subscribe  to  your  decision. 
What  then  is  the  sum  of  our  doctrine?  It  is  this,  that  when 
we  discern  here  on  earth  the  bread  and  wine,  our  minds 
must  be  raised  to  heaven  in  order  to  enjoy  Christ,  and  that 
Christ  is  there  present  with  us,  while  we  seek  him  above  the 
elements  of  this  world.  For  it  is  not  permitted  us  to  charge 
Christ  with  imposition;  and  that  would  be  the  case,  unless  we 
held  that  the  reality  is  exhibited  together  with  the  sign.  And 
you  also  concede  that  the  sign  is  by  no  means  empty.  It  only  ' 
remains  that  we  define  what  it  contains  within  it.  When  we 
briefly  reply,  that  we  are  made  partakers  of  the  flesh  and  blood 
of  Christ  that  he  may  dwell  in  us  and  we  in  him,  and  in  this 
way  enjoy  all  his  benefits,  what  is  there,  I  ask,  in  these  words 
either  absurd  or  obscure,  especially  as  we,  in  express  terms, 
exclude  whatever  delirious  fancies  might  occur  to  the  mind? 
And  yet  we  are  censured,  as  if  we  departed  from  the  pure  and 
simple  doctrine  of  the  Gospel,  I  should  wish,  however,  to  learn 
what  that  simplicity  is  to  which  we  are  to  be  recalled.     When 


ISiS.]  HENRY  BULLINGER.  171 

I  was  lately  with  you,  I  pressed  this  very  point.  Bat  you  re- 
member, as  I  think,  that  I  received  no  answer.  I  do  not  make 
this  allegation  so  much  by  way  of  complaint,  as  that  I  may 
publicly  testify  to  the  fact  that  we  lie  under  the  suspicion  of 
certain  good  men  without  any  ground  for  it.  I  have  long  ago 
observed,  moreover,  that  the  intercourse  we  have  with  Bucer 
acts  as  a  dead-weight  upon  us.  But  I  beseech  you,  my  Bul- 
linger,  to  consider  with  what  propriety  we  should  alienate  our- 
selves from  Bucer,  seeinghe  subscribes  this  very  confession  which 
I  have  laid  down.  I  shall  not  at  present  declare  the  virtues, 
both  rare  and  manifold,  by  which  that  man  is  distinguished. 
I  shall  only  say,  that  I  should  do  a  grievous  injury  to  the  Church 
of  God,  were  I  either  to  hate  or  despise  him.  I  make  no  refer- 
ence to  the  personal  obligations  under  which  I  lie  to  him.  And 
yet  my  love  and  reverence  for  him  are  such,  that  I  freely  ad- 
monish him  as  often  as  I  think  fit.  How  much  greater  justice 
will  his  complaint  regarding  you  be  judged  to  possess !  For  he 
sometime  ago  complained  that  you  interdicted  youths  of  Zurich, 
who  were  living  at  Strasbourg,  from  partaking  of  the  Supper  in 
that  church,  although  no  confession  but  your  own  was  demanded 
of  them.  I  indeed  see  no  reason  why  the  churches  should  be 
so  rent  asunder  on  this  point.  But  what  is  the  reason  that 
godly  men  are  angry  with  us,  when  we  cultivate  the  friendship 
of  a  man  who,  by  himself,  professes  nothing  that  can  stand  in 
the  way  of  his  being  received  as  a  friend  and  a  brother?  As 
the  matter  hinges  on  this,  shew  me,  if  you  can,  that  by  my 
friendly  intercourse  with  Bucer  I  am  restrained  in  the  free  pro- 
fession of  my  views.  I  may  perhaps  seem  to  be  so,  but  I  make 
the  thing  itself  the  test  of  the  truth.  Wherefore,  let  us  not  be 
so  suspicious  where  there  is  no  call  for  it.  As  to  the  other 
matters,  when  I  had  come  to  Lausanne  I  counselled  the  brethren 
to  send  as  soon  as  possible  to  Haller,  for  I  had  the  hope  they 
would  obtain  from  him  all  that  was  just;  and  in  this  expecta- 
tion I  was  not  disappointed.  Jodocus,  however,  and  Ebrard,' 
what  brother  of  the  giants  I  know  not,  who  had  been  sent,  were 
so  grossly  violent  in  their  invectives,  that  they  were  presently 
compelled  to  betake  themselves  [home].     So  great  a  source  of 

'  Ministers  of  the  Church  of  Berno. 


172  HENEY   BULLINGER.  [1548/ 

indignation  was  my  proceeding  to  Zurich,  as  if,  forsooth,  I  had 
no  right  to  be  affected  by  the  danger  of  a  church  so  near  us, 
or  to  seek  a  suitable  remedy  in  conjunction  with  the  brethren, 
Jodocus  said,  in  a  threatening  way,  that  he  knew  what  I  had 
done  when  with  you.  I  boasted,  however,  that  I  had  been  a 
party  to  no  transaction  that  was  unworthy  of  my  reputation  as 
an  honourable  man.  But  why  should  I  recount  to  you  the  in- 
solence and  scurrilities  of  both  of  them?  Take  this  as  the  sum 
of  the  matter,  that  the  two  brethren,  both  eminently  learned, 
grave,  and  judicious,  were  so  astounded,  that  they  thought  it 
best  to  make  a  seasonable  departure.  Such  is  brotherly  cle- 
mency. It  is,  however,  worth  while  to  make  a  brief  statement, 
that  you  may  form  a  judgment  of  the  matter  from  the  begin- 
ning to  the  end.  Immediately  on  our  first  meeting,  in  place  of 
salutation,  it  was  asked.  Who  raised  these  tragical  commotions? 
When  it  was  said,  in  reply,  that  they  were  known  to  have  pro- 
ceeded from  Zebedee,  Ebrard  exclaimed,  'Yes,  that  good  man 
is  unworthily  traduced  by  you,  because  he  laid  bare  your  stra- 
tagems.' On  the  brethren  requesting  those  stratagems  to  be 
explained  to  them;  'We  have,' he  says,  'a  Bernese  disputation 
from  which  we  form  our  judgment  of  you  and  all  your  affairs.' 
I  beseech  thee,  my  BuUinger,  to  say  whether  such  is  the  case. 
What  have  we  profited  by  shaking  off  the  tyranny  of  the  Pope? 
Observe,  also,  how  suitable  was  the  interrogation  of  Jodocus, 
Who  had  asked  me  to  form  one  of  the  assembly  at  Lausanne? 
Finally,  that  the  last  part  of  the  proceedings  might  be  of  a  piece 
with  the  first,  the  brethren  were  ordered  to  go  away,  and  have 
done  with  their  Calvinism  and  Buceranism.  And  all  this  with 
an  impetuosity  almost  like  madmen,  and  outrageous  clamours. 
Could  you  expect  anything  more  unfeeling  or  truculent  from 
Papists?  Though  we  may  patiently  tolerate  this  intemperate 
Bacchantism,  the  Lord,  nevertheless,  will  not  suffer  it  to  pass 
unpunished.  At  Paris  and  in  many  parts  of  the  kingdom,  the 
ferocity  of  the  ungodly  is  inflamed  afresh.  The  King  himself 
holds  on  in  his  fury.  Thus  is  fulfilled  the  prediction.  Without 
fightings,  within  fears;  although  Jodocus  excites  not  only  fears 
within,  but  open  fightings.  But  may  the  very  fewness  of  our 
numbers  incite  us  to  an  alliance! 


.1548.]  MONSIEUE  DE   PALAIS.  173 

Adieu,  most  excellent  and  most  honoured  sir,  along  with 
your  colleagues,  all  of  whom  I  desire  you  will  respectfully 
salute  in  my  name.  To  your  wife  also,  and  your  whole  family, 
I  send  the  best  greeting.  May  the  Lord  Jesus  protect  and 
direct  you  all.     Amen. 

Something  is  said  about  the  state  of  Constance,  not  much 
fitted  to  inspire  gladness.  May  the  Lord  regard  you,  and 
rescue  you  from  the  jaws  of  the  lion. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

It  would  be  better  you  should  suppress  this  letter,  if  you 
thought  proper,  than  that  it  should  lead  to  the  excitement  of 
a  greater  conflagration  at  Berne;  for  the  lack  of  self-restraint 
on  the  part  of  some  is  marvellous. 

[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Archives  of  Zurich.     Gest.  vi.  p.  6.] 


CCXXy.— To  Monsieur  de  Falais.' 

Preparations  for  the  marriage  of  Mademoiselle  de  Wilergy,  liis  relation. 

From  Geneva,  this  11th  of  July  [1543.] 

MoNSEiQNEUR, — I  believe  that  it  will  be  best  as  it  is.  If  it 
had  been  possible  to  speak  together  about  the  contract,'^  I  would 
have  much  desired  to  do  so;  but  I  do  not  know  whether  you 
will  be  able  to  come  this  week.  However,  the  man  offers,  in 
case  he  should  leave  his  wife  a  widow  without  children  that  she 
shall  have  a  thousand  crowns.  In  the  event  of  his  leaving  chil- 
dren, she  shall  have  the  half,  but  on  condition  that,  if  she 
marry  afterwards,  and  have  also  children  by  the  second  mar- 
riage, she  must  not  have  the  power  of  preferring  them  to  those 
of  the  first.     The  present  assignment  will  be  founded  upon  the 

'  M.  de  Falais  was  on  the  point  of  leaving  Bale  to  settle  at  Geneva.  lie  arrived, 
doubtless,  in  that  town  the  end  of  July  1548.  We  read,  in  a  letter  of  Calvin  to  Viret 
of  the  20th  August  1548  :  "Dominus  Falesius  uxor  et  soror  vos  salutant ;— the  wife 
and  sister  of  M.  de  Falais  salute  you." — Vol.  106  of  the  TAhrary  of  Geneva.  The  cor- 
respondence  of  Calvin  with  this  Seigneur,  thenceforward  interrupted,  was  only  resumed 
occasionally,  and  in  1552,  ceased  entirely. 

"The  contract  of  marriage  of  Mademoiselle  Wilergy. 


174  MONSIEUR   DE   FALAIS.  [1548. 

instrument  of  Paris,  to  be  implemented,  when  he  shall  have 
made  good  his  money  and  expenses.  I  am  of  opinion  that 
his  offer  is  very  liberal ;  for  it  is  quite  right  that  the  husband 
retain  some  control  in  his  own  hand. 

The  wedding,  I  hope,  will  go  off  well.  There  must  needs  be 
some  company,  but  no  great  multitude.  And  besides,  we  must 
not  be  too  hard  upon  you,  for  it  will  be  necessary  to  find  lodg- 
ings for  them.  I  think  ten  persons  will  be  a  reasonable  num- 
ber, including  myself.  And  seeing  that  my  brother  is  not  here 
at  present,  I  know  not  whether  we  could  send  notice  by  letter 
to  Dole  and  to  Basle.  Perhaps,  indeed,  we  might,  if  they 
should  be  here  for  the  whole  day  to-morrow. 

I  had  forgotten  to  mention  the  French  traveller; '  that  is,  to 
tell  you  that  I  do  not  find  him  in  any  hurry;  and  yet  that  is 
not  by  any  means  because  all  is  not  quite  clear  about  him,  but 
for  the  purpose  of  seeking  some  advantage  over  and  above.  I 
"wish  very  much  that  it  may  please  God  to  bring  you  hither  to 
drink  of  the  wine  upon  the  spot,  and  that  soon.  If  the  bearer 
had  left  this  earlier  in  the  morning,  you  might  have  had  a  flask 
of  it.  If  there  were  any  means  of  sending  you  the  half  of  it, 
I  should  not  have  failed  to  do  so,  but  when  I  inquired,  I  found 
that  it  could  not  be  done. 

And  so.  Monsieur,  having  commended  me  to   your  kind 
favour,  and  that  of  Madame  and  your  whole  household,  I  be- 
seech our  Lord  to  have  you  in  his  keeping. 
Your  humble  brother  and  servant, 

John  Calvin,  confined  to  bed. 

M.  de  Ballesan  has  written  to  request  of  me,  that  I  would  see 
whether  he  could  get  any  help  from  you.  After  making  excuses 
more  than  enough  for  you,  I  have  at  length  been  constrained  to 
promise  him  that  I  would  write  to  you  about  it,  which  I  had 
resolved  to  do  yesterday  by  Monsieur  de  Parey;  but  he  forgot 
to  come,  so  great  was  his  hurry  to  make  the  journey. 
[^Orig.  signat.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.     Yol.  194.] 

'M  de  Montmor.      See  tbe  note,  p.  141, 


1548.1  FAEEL.  175 


CCXXYI.— To  Farel.   . 

Uncertainty  regarding  the  disposition  of  tlie  Cantons — stay  of  Monsieur  and  JIadamo 
de  Falais  in  Calvin's  Louse. 

[Geneva,]  27th  Avgiist  1543 

I  have  no  doubt,  even  although  3'-ou  do  not  expostulate  with 
me,  that  you  silently  condemn  me  for  neglect  in  having  suf- 
fered so  many  bearers  to  depart  for  you  without  my  letter.  If 
I  were  to  plead  that  there  was  nothing  to  write  about,  you 
would  at  once  confute  me.  Even  though  matter  for  corre- 
spondence is  never  wanting,  I  permit  myself  to  indulge  in 
silence,  when  there  is  nothing  pressing.  We  are  waiting  to 
find  whether  the  Swiss  will  sufier  themselves  to  be  circum- 
vented by  the  artifices  of  Ulysses.  May  the  Lord  look  to  this, 
on  whose  Providence  it  is  fitting  we  should  lean  ; '  since  reason 
does  not  guide  the  helm,  and  we  know  that  fortune  has  no 
dominion.  As  far  as  can  be  divined,  [their  policy  is  as  follows:] 
As  on  the  one  hand  the  Emperor  will  seek  to  deceive  them  by 
fair  words,  so  they  in  their  turn  will  keep  him  in  suspense 
until  they  have  seen  that  they  are  protected  by  those  defences 
which  they  deem  necessary.  Here  we  are  occupied  in  the  usual 
way,  but  the  skirmishes  are  slight.  Unless  I  am  wholly  de- 
ceived in  my  conjectures,  either  some  disturbances  will  speedily 
arise,  or  this  winter  cause  suffering  to  the  great  crowds  in 
many  places.  Good  Toussain^  is  not  grieved  by  the  matter. 
To  his  other  troubles  is  added  the  disease  of  his  son.  You 
will  therefore  use  your  influence  with  Peter  the  surgeon  to  get 
him  to  repair  to  that  quarter,  in  case  some  means  of  alleviation 
may  be  discovered.  We  shall  see  about  William ;  we  have 
talked  among  ourselves  regarding  him.  But  as  Allen  and  San 
Privat  are  present,  we  have  as  yet  come  to  no  determination. 
The  godly  man  offers  no  objection,  but  I  am  unwilling  to 

'  Messengers  of  the  Emperor  were  then  scouring  the  Cantons  with  a  view  to  de- 
tach them  from  the  French  alliance,  which  was  nevertheless  renewed,  9th  June  1549. 

'  The  minister  Toussain,  pastor  of  the  church  of  Montbeliard,  at  that  time  di.^pcrsed 
by  the  imperial  army. 


176  viRET.  [1548, 

send  him  away  for  no  end.  He  will  also  return  to  Lausanne 
before  he  undertakes  this  journey.  If  you  have  found  a  trust- 
worthy messenger,  I  wish  you  would  send  to  me  what  letters 
of  mine  you  have  in  your  possession.  Viret  is  to  do  the  same. 
I  shall  send  them  back,  with  certain  marks,  if  there  be  any 
which  it  is  not  expedient  all  should  read.  I  shall  send  each  of 
you  his  own,  when  I  am  at  liberty  to  do  so,  that  you  may  add 
similar  marks.  I  will  take  care  that  these  are  subjoined.  I 
have  not  yet  seen  Christopher.  M.  de  Falais  is  now  with  me, 
who  I  trust  will  pass  the  winter  here.'  I  have  caused  him  to 
cast  away  the  unfavourable  doubt  regarding  you,  which  he  had 
conceived  from  your  conversation.  The  more  he  loves  you 
and  defers  to  you,  the  more  anxious  was  he  that  you  should 
judge  aright  of  his  piety.  But  it  is  in  truth  as  you  say:  when 
you  demanded  of  him  what  you  thought  would  be  for  the 
edification  of  the  Church,  he  suspected  that  you  desiderated 
in  him  the  very  thing  you  sought  for,  as  if  he  had  not  mani- 
fested it  hitherto.  Both  [Monsieur  and  Madame  de  Falais] 
very  affectionately  salute  you,  as  also  my  colleagues ;  and  my 
wife,  who  is  in  bed  from  prolonged  illness.  I  have  been 
struggling  these  days  past  with  pain  in  the  head,  and  spasms 
of  the  stomach,  to  such  a  degree  as  to  cause  violent  convul- 
sions. Adieu,  brother  and  most  sincere  friend,  along  with 
your  family  and  brothers,  especially  my  guest  Fato,  to  whom 
I  will  send  back  the  token  of  friendship,  unless  he  sometime 
visit  us. — Yours,  John  Calvin. 

[^Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.     Vol.  106.] 


CCXXVII.— To  ViRET.2 

Embarrassment  occasioned  to  Calvin  by  the  treacherous  publication  of  one  of  his 
letters  to  Viret. 

[Geneva,]  20th  September  1548. 

I  was  within  a  little  of  letting  our  friend  Merlin  depart  with- 
out a  letter.     When  he  was  already  equipped  for  the  journey, 

•  See  the  letter  to  M.  de  Falais  of  17th  July  1548,  and  the  relative  note. 

'  We  have  reproduced  (Vol.  i.  p.  449,)  a  letter  of  Calvin  to  Viret,  containing  a 


1548.]  viRET.  177 

be  sacrificed  for  me  the  time  between  sermon  and  supper ;  the 
balf  of  which  period  I  spent  in  conversation  with  some  people. 
"With  regard  to  a  successor  to  Hiinbert,  I  have  scarcely  ground 
for  giving  an  advice.  I  see  indeed  the  dangers  that  are  im- 
minent, unless  some  one  be  put  in  his  place  as  soon  as  possible. 
I  do  not  observe  among  you  any  one  who  pleases  me  in  every 
respect.  You  cannot  call  from  a  distance  any  but  unknown 
men.  Our  choice  is  accordingly  restricted  to  those  in  whom 
you  may  have  to  desiderate  something  as  wanting;  only  let  it 
not  be  piety  and  a  moderate  acquaintance  with  the  language, — 
qualifications  that  are  to  be  regarded  as  the  chief  But  if  you 
make  choice  of  any  one  with  this  reservation,  that  he  is  not  to 
be  under  obligation  to  remain  in  the  office,  should  anything 
more  suitable  shortly  afterwards  present  itself,  you  will  take 
care  expressly  to  state  this  to  the  person  himself,  and  to  the 
senate.  When  I  became  aware  that  the  letter,  obtained  sur- 
reptitiously and  translated  into  French  by  Troll  iet,  was  being  cir- 
culated, and  that  oil  was  thus  poured  on  the  flame,  I  came  into 
the  council  chamber,  and  pointed  out  the  injustice  of  those  de- 
vices, the  danger  of  such  procedure  to  the  Church,  and  the  evil 
precedent  it  afforded.  That  person  was  summoned;  he  appeared 
in  the  midst  of  the  meeting;  I  acknowledged  my  hand,  and  then 
made  such  an  apology  as  the  circumstances  demanded.  We  were 
thus  suffered  to  go  home.     A  resolution,  however,  was  come  to, 


severe  judgment  of  the  Reformer  upon  the  magistrates  of  Geneva.  Stolen  from 
Viret  by  a  faithless  servant,  and  given  to  the  Seigneury  by  Trolliet,  this  letter  ex- 
cited real  commotions,  the  traces  of  which  are  to  be  found  in  the  Registers  of 
Council. 

"  Calvin  justifies  himself  in  council  with  regard  to  a  certain  letter  he  had  written, 
in  which  it  was  alleged  he  blamed  the  Seigneury  of  this  city.  IIo  also  complains  of 
the  calumnies  directed  against  him  by  Trolliet." — 21th  September. 

On  the  15th  October  following,  Farel  appears  in  Council,  "and  prays  them  to  en- 
tertain a  constant  regard  for  Calvin;  that  he  observes  with  grief  thej'  do  not  show  to 

that  servant  of  God  the  deference  that  is  due  to  him praying 

the  Council  to  take  order  therein." — 2Sth  October.  "  Farel  testifies  anew  that  too 
little  regard  is  had  for  the  character  and  merits  of  Calvin;  that  he  has  no  equal  in 
learning;  th.at  it  was  not  necessary  to  take  such  offence  at  what  he  might  have  said, 
as  he  had  censured  with  great  freedom  the  greatest  men,  such  as  Lutlicr,  Melanch- 
thon,  and  many  others. 

"Resolved,  to  thank  the  said  Farel,  and  to  remit  to  him  the  original  of  the  fore- 
said letter,  in  order  that  it  might  be  restored  to  Viret." 
23 


178  viRET.  [1548. 

that  I  should  be  again  summoned  after  the  following  Monday. 
This  has  not  been  done.  What  has  prevented  it  I  know  not, 
unless,  as  I  suspect,  it  be  the  stratagem  of  the  ungodly  to  afford 
them  a  weapon  for  the  purpose  of  injuring  me,  as  often  as  it  shall 
be  advantageous  for  them  to  employ  it.  For  the  council  was 
disposed  to  allow  the  whole  matter  to  pass  into  oblivion.  Ac- 
cordingly, if  at  any  time  I  have  stood  in  need  of  your  help,  you 
now  see  that  I  especially  require  it.  For  I  shall  not  be  able  to 
urge  you  without  a  confession  of  fear.  But  if  you  repair  hither, 
and  complain  of  the  injury  done  to  you, — if  you  then  add  that 
you  do  not  deserve  at  the  hands  of  the  republic  to  have  a  letter 
that  was  stolen  from  you  retained, — if  finally  you  demand  its 
restoration,  and  moreover  signify  that  you  need  it  for  the  con- 
viction of  the  thief, — I  do  not  think  it  will  be  difficult  to  obtain 
it.  Do  you  now  consider  whether  another  course  is  more  ex- 
pedient. The  whole  council  is  censured  in  the  letter.  For  the 
time  is  described  when  Corna  resigned  the  office  of  treasurer. 
I  next  mention  those  whom  the  people  then  created  syndics, 
and  who  were  allured  into  the  council.  Then  follow  finally 
the  best  things  they  wish  to  be  expected  of  them.  1  know  not 
what  I  ought  to  expect.  For  under  pretext  of  Christ  they  mean 
to  reign  without  Christ ;  since  among  them  are  reckoned  Amy 
Curtet,  and  Dominic  Arlo,  who  are  now  in  prison,  until  they 
shall  have  discharged  the  debts  due  by  them  to  the  public 
treasury.  Perrin,  with  his  friends,  goes  to  them,  and  urges 
them  to  become  reconciled  to  me.  Others  also  solicit  this. 
Last  of  all,  they  omit  no  wickedness  by  which  they  may  over- 
throw me.  I  partly  dissemble,  and  partly  openly  profess  that  all 
their  efforts  are  held  by  me  in  derision.  For  they  would  think 
they  had  obtained  the  victory,  if  they  observe  in  me  any  token 
[of  fear.]  Nor  indeed  is  there  anything  that  is  more  fitted  to 
break  the  force  of  their  impetuosity,  and  animate  good  men  in 
sustaining  the  cause,  than  my  self  reliance.  If  you  are  not  at 
liberty  to  come  shortly,  consider  whether  it  be  not  expedient  to 
write.  But  I  should  not  wish  you  to  do  so,  unless  by  a  sure 
messenger,  and  one  who  should  have  a  commission  requiring  an 
answer.     Adieu,  brother,  and  most  sincere  friend,  along  with 


1548.]  A   FRENCH  SEIGNEUR.  179 

your  wife  and  young  daughter.     Eespectfully  salute  the  bre- 
thren.    My  wife  also  salutes  you. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 


If  you  can  find  a  faithful  friend,  I  should  wish  him  once  to 
read  over  what  I  have  here  written  to  you. 
[Lat.  orig.  atitogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  106.] 


CCXXVIII.— To  A  French  Seigneur.' 

Exhortation  to  come  to  Geneva,  that  ho  might  there  serve  the  Lord  faithfully. 

This  ISth  of  October  1548. 

Monsieur, — I  have  partly  been  informed  of  your  intention 
by  the  Sieur  Fran9ois  de  la  Riviere,  and  praise  our  Lord  for 
the  good  courage  he  has  given  you  to  serve  him  fully.  As 
we  ought  to  yield  ourselves  up  to  him  entirely  and  without 
reserve,  if  we  desire  to  be  approved  as  his,  you  must  now  ascer- 
tain how  you  can  employ  yourself  as  is  your  duty  in  his  ser- 
vice. It  is  true  that  the  earth  is  the  Lord's,  and  that  we  are 
at  liberty  to  dwell  in  any  part  of  it,  provided  we  take  care  to 
keep  ourselves  unpolluted,  to  honour  him  in  our  body  as  well 
as  our  spirit.  When  we  are  told  that  the  whole  earth  is  holy, 
we  are  thereby  admonished,  that  we  ought  in  nowise  to  defile 
it  by  leading  a  sinful  life.  You  must  now  take  good  heed,  that 
by  concealing  as  you  are  doing  the  light  that  is  in  you,  you  do 
not  make  yourself  a  partaker  in  the  pollutions  which  you  very 
properly  condemn  in  unbelievers.  I  fully  believe,  that  your 
heart  is  very  far  from  consenting  thereto;  but  in  making  the 
outward  show  of  communicating,  there  can  be  no  doubt  that 
you  thereby  make  a  profession  of  consenting  to  it.  And  as 
before  God  we  ought  to  manifest  our  detestation  of  idolatry,  so 
also  before  men,  we  ought  to  abstain  from  whatsoever  may 

'  Perhaps  to  Charles  de  Jonvillers,  who  became  some  years  afterwards  the  secretary 
and  friend  of  the  Reformer.  It  was  in  fact  in  1549,  and  in  consequonce  of  the  advice 
of  Calvin,  that  this  Seigneur  left  Chartres,  his  country,  to  go  to  Geneva,  which  re- 
ceived him  as  inhabitant  in  1550,  and  as  burgess  in  1556. 


180  A   FRENCH   SEIGNEUR.  [1548. 

make  it  appear  that  we  approve  thereof.  It  is  surely  right  that 
the  body  be  kept  quite  pure  for  the  service  of  God,  as  well  as 
the  soul,  seeing  that  it  is  the  temple  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  and 
has  the  promise  of  the  immortal  glory  which  shall  be  revealed 
at  the  last  day.  But  is  it  possible  to  employ  body  and  soul 
with  sincerity  of  heart  in  the  service  of  God,  while  we  make 
a  semblance  of  agreement  with  idolaters,  in  an  act  which  we 
know  to  be  dishonouring  to  God?  It  is  not  enough  to  reply 
to  this,  that  you  make  no  oral  declaration,  indeed,  that  you 
would  be  ready  to  protest  the  contrary,  were  you  required  to 
do  so,  for  you  are  well  aware  that  you  go  thither  with  no  other 
intention,  than  that  of  leading  God's  enemies  to  believe  that 
you  do  not  repudiate  their  doings,  for  if  it  was  not  for  the 
sake  of  gratifying  them,  and  by  such  means  shrinking  from 
the  declaration,  that  you  are  utterly  opposed  to  their  sacri- 
leges, you  never  would  join  them  in  an  act  of  worship.  And 
that  is  nothing  else  than  rendering  a  feigned  homage  to  their 
idol,  albeit  without  the  homage  of  the  heart.  If  it  seems  to 
you  that  I  am  too  severe  in  dealing  with  your  faults  so  nar- 
rowly, I  ask  you  to  enter  upon  the  work  of  self-examination, 
and  you  will  find,  that  I  bring  forward  nothing  against  you, 
•whereof  your  own  conscience  does  not  reprove  you.  Judge, 
then,  whether  God  does  not  see  there  much  more  to  find  fault 
with,  for  he  sees  our  state  far  more  clearly  than  we  ourselves 
do.  Therefore,  I  cannot,  consistently  with  the  understanding 
which  God  has  vouchsafed  me,  advise  a  Christian  man  to  con- 
tinue in  such  a  state;  and  can  only  say,  that  to  my  thinking 
he  is  truly  happy  who  is  free  from  such  constraint.  Whosoever, 
therefore,  has  the  means  of  withdrawing  from  it,  ought  not  in 
my  opinion  on  any  account  to  neglect  to  do  so.  True  it  is,  that 
never  shall  man  have  things  so  entirely  to  his  mind,  that  he 
shall  be  exempted  from  difficulty,  but,  on  the  contrary,  must 
expect  many  annoyances,  even  wrong  and  loss  of  property. 
But  let  us  learn  to  prefer  the  honour  of  God  to  all  things  else. 
In  your  case,  I  understand  that  your  merciful  God  has  already 
brought  you  so  far,  that  you  are  resolved  not  to  stagnate  in  a 
place  where  you  knowingly  offend  him.  Wherefore,  I  forbear 
from  any  more  lengthened  exhortations ;  only,  be  careful  not 


1548.]  A   FRENCH  SEIGNEUR.  181 

to  quench  that  zeal  which  he  has  vouchsafed  you,  but  rather 
stir  it  up  as  a  remembrancer  to  keep  you  in  mind  to  carry  out 
your  good  intention.  For  I  know  well,  and  experience  will 
convince  you,  how  many  distractions  there  are  to  make  you 
forgetful  of  it,  or  so  far  to  delay  that  you  might  grow  cool 
about  it.  Regarding  the  alternatives  which  Sire  Francois  has 
set  before  me,  I  have  told  him  what  to  give  you  as  my  opinion. 
However,  your  departure  must  be  like  that  out  of  Egypt,  bring- 
ing all  your  effects  along  with  you.  For  all  this,  I  believe  you 
will  need  steadfast  and  very  determined  courage.  But  you  are 
able  to  do  all  in  Him  who  strengthens  you.  When  he  has 
brought  you  hither,  you  shall  see  how  he  will  guide  you  far- 
ther. For  my  part,  I  would  gladly  help  thereunto  cheerfully 
and  steadily,  as  bound  I  am  to  do.  I  am  confident,  that  after 
leading  you  by  the  hand  in  greater  things,  he  will  not  fail  you 
on  this  occasion.  But  he  is  sometimes  pleased  to  exercise  and 
try  our  faith,  so  that  while  quitting  hold  of  that  which  is  within 
our  grasp,  we  know  not  what  we  shall  receive  in  place  of  it. 
We  have  an  example  of  this  in  our  father  Abraham.  After 
having  commanded  him  to  forsake  his  country,  his  kindred, 
and  everything  else,  he  shewed  him  no  present  reward,  but  put 
that  off  to  another  time.  "  Get  thee  out,"  said  he,  "  into  the 
land  which  I  shall  shew  thee."  Should  it  please  him  at  this 
time  to  do  the  like  with  us,  that  we  must  quit  the  land  of  our 
birth,  and  betake  ourselves  into  an  unknown  country,  without 
knowing  how  it  may  fare  with  us  there,  let  us  surrender  our- 
selves to  him,  that  he  may  direct  our  way,  and  let  us  honour 
him,  by  trusting  that  he  will  steer  us  to  a  safe  harbour.  It 
is  needful,  at  least,  that  you  be  informed  beforehand  that  you 
shall  enter  here  no  earthly  paradise,  where  you  may  rejoice  in 
God  without  molestation :  you  will  find  a  people  unmannerly 
enough  ;  you  will  meet  with  some  sufficiently  annoying  trials. 
In  short,  do  not  expect  to  better  your  condition,  except  in  so 
far,  that  having  been  delivered  from  miserable  bondage  of  body 
and  of  soul,  you  will  have  leave  to  serve  God  faithfully.  You 
will  have  the  pure  doctrine  of  the  Word,  you  will  call  upon 
his  name  in  the  fellowship  of  faithful  men,  you  will  enjoy  the 
true  use  of  the  sacraments.     But  that  may  well  be  all  in  all  to 


182  THE   PEOTECTOR  SOMERSET.  [1548. 

US,  if  we  only  prize  it  as  we  ought.  As  for  other  comforts, 
you  will  take  those  which  God  vouchsafes  to  you,  willingly 
suffering  the  want  of  those  which  he  denies.  Make  up  your 
mind,  then,  to  follow  Jesus  Christ,  without  flying  from  the 
cross ;  and  indeed  you  would  gain  nothing  by  trying  to  avoid 
it,  because  it  will  assuredly  find  you  out.  But  let  us  be  con- 
tent with  this  invaluable  blessing,  that  we  are  allowed  to  live 
not  only  in  peace  of  conscience,  but  daily  to  exercise  ourselves 
in  the  doctrine  of  salvation,  and  in  the  use  of  the  sacraments, 
for  our  confirmation.  He  who  builds  on  this  foundation,  shall 
rear  a  solid  edifice,  and  in  truth  you  cannot  evidence  whether 
you  do  value  Jesus  Christ  or  not,  unless  by  reckoning  all  the 
world  as  filth  in  comparison  of  him. 

To  conclude,  having  recommended  me  affectionately  to  your 
kind  fkvour,  I  beseech  our  good  Lord  to  fill  you  witb  the 
spirit  of  counsel  and  discretion,  to  discern  what  will  be  right 
and  fitting  for  you  to  do,  and  to  strengthen  you  in  true  con- 
stancy, to  put  in  practice  whatsoever  shall  be  according  to  his 
will ;  that  having  done  so,  it  may  please  him  to  lead  you  by 
the  hand,  to  bless  you  in  going  out  and  coming  in,  to  turn  all 
into  godly  prosperity. 

Your  humble  brother  and  servant  in  our  Lord, 

Charles  D'Espeville. 

[Fr.  Copy,  Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  107.] 


CCXXIX. — To  THE  Protector  Somerset.' 

Duties  imposed  on  the  Protector  by  tbe  high  office  which  he  holds — phan  of  a  com- 
plete reformation  in  England — preaching  of  the  pure  word  of  God — rooting  out  of 
abuses — correction  of  vices  and  scandalous  offences. 

Geneva,  22d  October  1548. 

MoNSEiGNEURj—Although  God  hasendowedyou  with  singular 
prudence,  largeness  of  mind,  and  other  virtues  required  in  that 

'  Edward  Seymour,  Earl  of  Hertford,  Duke  of  Somerset,  Regent  of  England, 
under  the  minority  of  Edward  VI.  It  was  under  his  administration  that  the  Refor- 
mation   was   victoriously  established    in    England.      Supported   by  Parliament,  he 


15-iS.]  THE    PKOTECTOR   SOMERSET.  ISB 

Station  wherein  lie  has  set  you,  and  for  the  affairs  which  he 
has  put  into  your  hand;  nevertheless,  inasmuch  as  you  deem 
me  to  be  a  servant  of  his  Son,  whom  you  desire  above  all  else 
to  obey,  I  feel  assured,  that  for  the  love  of  him  you  will  receive 
with  courtesy,  that  which  I  write  in  his  name,  as  indeed  I 
have  no  other  end  in  view,  save  only,  that  in  following  out  yet 
more  and  more  what  you  have  begun,  you  may  advance  his 
honour,  until  you  have  established  his  kingdom  in  as  great 
perfection  as  is  to  be  looked  for  in  the  world.  And  you  will 
perceive  likewise  as  you  read,  that  without  advancing  anything 
of  my  own,  the  whole  is  drawn  from  his  own  pure  doctrine. 
Were  I  to  look  merely  at  the  dignity  and  grandeur  of  your 
position,  there  would  seem  no  access  whatever  for  a  man  of  my 
quality.  But  since  you  do  not  refuse  to  be  taught  of  the 
Master  whom  I  serve,  but  rather  prize  above  all  else  the  grace 
which  he  has  bestowed  in  numbering  you  among  his  disciples, 
methinks  I  have  no  need  to  make  you  any  long  excuse  or  pre- 
face, because  I  deem  you  well  disposed  to  receive  whatsoever 
proceeds  from  him. 

We  have  all  reason  to  be  thankful  to  our  God  and  Father, 
that  he  has  been  pleased  to  employ  you  in  so  excellent  a  work 
as  that  of  setting  up  the  purity  and  right  order  of  his  worship 
in  England  by  your  means,  and  establishing  the  doctrine  of 
salvation,  that  it  may  there  be  faithfully  proclaimed  to  all  those 
who  shall  consent  to  hear  it ;  that  he  has  vouchsafed  you  such 
firmness  and  constancy  to  persevere  hitherto,  in  spite  of  so 
many  trials  and  difficulties;  that  he  has  helped  you  with  hig 
mighty  arm,  in  blessing  all  your  counsels  and  your  labours, 

suppressed  the  troubles  which  arose  in  some  parts  of  the  kingdom  after  the  death  of 
Henry  VIII.,  confirmed  the  king's  supremacy,  abolished  the  worship  of  images,  private 
masses,  and  restored  the  communion  in  both  kinds.  He  held  a  correspondence  with 
Calvin,  who  dedicated  to  him,  June  24,  1548,  his  Commentary  on  the  First  Epistle  of 
Paul  to  Timothy  ,•  and  by  advice  of  the  Reformer,  he  offered  an  asylum  to  the  exiles, 
Bucer,  Fagi,  Ochino,  and  Peter  Martyr, — banished  for  the  sake  of  their  religion  from 
the  Continent.  Beloved  by  the  people,  hated  by  the  nobles,  he  made  himself  un- 
popular by  his  want  of  success  in  the  war  which  ho  kept  up  against  the  Scots  and  ia 
France  ;  was  overthrown  by  a  conspiracy  of  the  nobility,  imprisoned  in  the  Tower 
of  London,  (October  1549,)  and  only  recovered  his  liberty  the  year  following,  to  perish 
in  1552  on  the  scaffold,  victim  of  the  ambition  of  Warwick,  Earl  of  Northumberland, 
his  relative. 


18J:  THE   PROTECTOR  SOMERSET.  [1548. 

to  make  them  prosper.  These  are  grounds  of  thankfulness 
which  stir  up  all  true  believers  to  magnify  his  name.  Seeing 
however,  that  Satan  never  ceases  to  upheave  new  conflicts,  and 
that  it  is  a  thing  in  itself  so  difficult,  that  nothing  can  be  more 
so,  to  cause  the  truth  of  God  to  have  peaceable  dominion  among 
men,  who  by  nature  are  most  prone  to  falsehood;  while,  on  the 
other  hand,  there  are  so  many  circumstances  which  prevent  its 
having  free  course;  and  most  of  all,  that  the  superstitions  of 
Antichrist,  having  taken  root  for  so  long  time,  cannot  be  easily 
uprooted  from  men's  hearts, — you  have  much  need,  methinks, 
to  be  confirmed  by  holy  exhortations.  I  cannot  doubt,  indeed, 
that  you  have  felt  this  from  experience;  and  shall  therefore 
deal  all  the  more  frankly  with  you,  because,  as  I  hope,  my  de- 
liberate opinion  will  correspond  with  your  own  desire.  Were 
my  exhortations  even  uncalled  for,  you  would  bear  with  the 
zeal  and  earnestness  which  has  led  me  to  offer  them.  I  believe, 
therefore,  that  the  need  of  them  which  you  feel,  will  make  them 
all  the  more  welcome.  However  this  may  be,  Monseigneur, 
may  it  please  you  to  grant  me  audience  in  some  particular  re- 
formations which  I  propose  to  lay  here  briefly  before  you,  iu 
the  hope,  that  when  you  shall  have  listened  to  them,  you  will 
at  least  find  some  savour  of  consolation  therein,  and  feel  the 
more  encouraged  to  prosecute  the  holy  and  noble  enterprise 
in  which  God  has  hitherto  been  pleased  to  employ  you. 

I  have  no  doubt  that  the  great  troubles  which  have  fallen  out 
for  some  time  past,  must  have  been  very  severe  and  annoying 
to  you,  and  especially  as  many  may  have  found  in  them  occasion 
of  offence;  forasmuch  as  they  were  partly  excited  under  cover 
of  the  change  of  religion.  Wherefore  you  must  necessarily  have 
felt  them  very  keenly,  as  well  on  account  of  the  apprehensions 
they  may  have  raised  in  your  mind,  as  of  the  murmurs  of  the 
ignorant  or  disaffected,  and  also  of  the  alarm  of  the  well-dis- 
posed. Certes,  the  mere  rumour  which  I  heard  from  afar, 
caused  me  heartfelt  anxiety,  until  I  was  informed  that  God  had 
begun  to  apply  a  remedy  thereto.  However,  since  perhaps  they 
are  not  yet  entirely  allayed,  or  seeing  that  the  devil  may  have 
kindled  them  anew,  it  will  be  well  that  you  call  to  mind  what 
the  sacred  history  relates  of  good  King  Hezekiah,  (2  Chron. 


1548.]  THE   PROTECTOR   SOMERSET.  185 

XXX ii.,)  namely,  that  after  he  had  abolished  the  superstitions 
throughout  Judea,  reformed  the  state  of  the  church  according 
to  the  law  of  God,  he  was  even  then  so  pressed  by  his  enemies, 
that  it  almost  seemed  as  if  he  was  a  lost  and  ruined  man.  It 
is  not  without  reason  that  the  Iloly  Spirit  pointedly  declares, 
that  such  an  affliction  happened  to  him  immediately  after  having 
re-established  the  true  religion  in  his  realm;  for  it  may  well 
have  seemed  reasonable  to  himself,  that  having  striven  with 
all  his  might  to  set  up  the  reign  of  God,  he  should  have 
peace  within  his  own  kingdom.  Thus,  all  faithful  princes  and 
governors  of  countries  are  forewarned  by  that  example,  that 
however  earnest  they  may  be  in  banishing  idolatry  and  in  pro- 
moting the  true  worship  of  God,  their  faith  may  yet  be  tried  by 
diverse  temptations.  So  God  permits,  and  wills  it  to  be  thus, 
to  manifest  the  constancy  of  his  people,  and  to  lead  them  to 
look  above  the  world.  Meanwhile,  the  devil  also  does  his  work, 
endeavouring  to  ruin  sounddoctriueby  indirect  means,  working 
as  it  were  underground,  forasmuch  as  he  could  not  openly 
attain  his  end.  But  according  to  the  admonition  of  St.  James, 
(James  v.  11,)  who  tells  us,  that  in  considering  the  patience  of 
Job,  we  must  look  to  the  end  of  it,  so  ought  we,  Monseigneur,  to 
look  to  the  end  which  was  vouchsafed  to  this  good  king.  We 
see  there  that  God  was  a  present  help  in  all  his  perplexities, 
and  that  at  length  he  came  off  victorious.  Wherefore,  seeing 
that  his  arm  is  not  shortened,  and  that,  in  the  present  day,  he 
has  the  defence  of  the  truth  and  the  salvation  of  his  own  as 
much  at  heart  as  ever,  never  doubt  that  he  will  come  to  your 
aid,  and  that  not  once  only,  but  in  all  the  trials  he  may  send 
you. 

If  the  majority  of  the  world  oppose  the  Gospel,  and  even 
strive  with  rage  and  violence  to  hinder  its  progress,  we  ought 
not  to  think  it  strange.  It  proceeds  from  the  ingratitude  of  men, 
which  has  always  shewn  itself,  and  ever  will,  in  drawing  back 
when  God  comes  near,  and  even  in  kicking  against  him  when 
he  would  put  his  yoke  upon  them.  More  than  that,  because 
by  nature  they  are  wholly  given  to  hypocrisy,  they  cannot  bear 
to  be  brought  to  the  clear  light  of  the  word  of  God,  which  lays 
bare  their  baseness  and  shame,  nor  to  be  drawn  forth  out  of 
24 


186  THE   PEOTECTOR   SOMERSET.  [1548. 

their  superstitions,  which  serve  them  as  a  hiding-hole  and  shady 
covert.  It  is  nothing  new,  then,  if  we  meet  with  contradiction 
when  we  attempt  to  lead  men  back  to  the  pure  worship  of  God. 
And  we  have,  besides,  the  clear  announcement  of  our  Lord 
Jesus,  who  tells  us  that  he  has  brought  a  sword  along  with  his 
Gospel.  But  let  not  this  daunt  us,  nor  make  us  shrink  and  be 
fearful,  for  at  last,  when  men  shall  have  rebelled  most  stoutly, 
and  vomited  forth  all  their  rage,  they  shall  be  put  to  confusion 
in  a  moment,  and  shall  destroy  themselves  by  the  fury  of  their 
own  onset.  That  is  a  true  saying,  in  the  second  Psalm,  that  God 
shall  only  laugh  at  their  commotion ;  that  is  to  say,  that  seem- 
ing to  connive,  he  will  let  them  bluster,  as  if  the  affair  did  not 
at  all  concern  him.  But  it  always  happens,  that  at  length  they 
are  driven  back  by  his  power,  wherewith  if  we  be  armed,  we 
have  a  sure  and  invincible  munition,  whatsoever  plots  the  devil 
may  frame  against  us,  and  shall  know  by  experience  in  the  end, 
that  even  as  the  Gospel  is  the  message  of  peace  and  of  recon- 
ciliation between  God  and  us,  it  will  also  avail  us  to  pacify  men ; 
and  in  this  way  we  shall  understand,  that  it  is  not  in  vain  that 
Isaiah  has  said,  (Is.  ii.  4,)  that  when  Jesus  Christ  shall  rule  in 
the  midst  of  us  by  his  doctrine,  the  swords  shall  be  turned  into 
ploughshares,  and  the  spears  into  pruning-hooks. 

Albeit,  however,  the  wickedness  and  opposition  of  men  may 
be  the  cause  of  the  sedition  and  rebellion  which  rises  up  against 
the  Gospel,  let  us  look  to  ourselves,  and  acknowledge  that  God 
chastises  our  faults  by  those  who  would  otherwise  serve  Satan 
only.  It  is  an  old  complaint,  that  the  Gospel  is  the  cause  of 
all  the  ills  and  calamities  that  befall  mankind.  We  see,  in 
fact,  from  history,  that  shortly  after  Christianity  had  been  every- 
where spread  abroad,  there  was  not,  so  to  speak,  a  corner  of  the 
earth  which  was  not  horribly  afflicted.  The  uproar  of  war,  like 
a  universal  fire,  was  kindled  in  all  lands.  Land-floods  on  the 
one  hand,  and  famine  and  pestilence  on  the  other,  a  chaotic 
confusion  of  order  and  civil  polity  to  such  a  degree,  that  it 
seemed  as  if  the  world  was  presently  about  to  be  overturned. 
In  like  manner  we  have  seen  in  our  times,  since  the  Gospel  has 
beo-un  to  be  set  up,  much  misery ;  to  such  an  extent,  indeed, 
that  every  one  complains  we  are  come  upon  an  unhappy  period, 


1548.]  THE  PROTECTOR  SOMERSET.  187 

and  there  are  very  few  who  do  not  groan  under  this  burden. 
While,  then,  we  feel  the  blow,  we  ought  to  look  upward  to  the 
hand  of  Him  who  strikes,  and  ought  also  to  consider  why  the 
blow  is  sent.  The  reason  why  he  makes  us  thus  to  feel  his 
rod  is  neither  very  obscure  nor  difficult  to  be  understood.  We 
know  that  the  word,  by  which  he  would  guide  us  to  salvation, 
is  an  invaluable  treasure ;  with  what  reverence  do  we  receive  it 
when  h»  presents  it  to  us  ?  Seeing,  then,  that  we  make  no 
great  account  of  that  which  is  so  precious,  God  has  good  reason 
to  avenge  himself  of  our  ingratitude.  We  hear  also  what 
Jesus  Christ  announces,  (Luke  xii.  47,)that  the  servant  know- 
ing the  will  of  his  Master,  and  not  doing  it,  deserves  double 
chastisement.  Since,  therefore,  we  are  so  remiss  in  obeying  the 
will  of  our  God,  who  has  declared  it  to  us  more  than  a  hundred 
times  already,  let  us  not  think  it  strange  if  his  anger  rage 
more  severely  against  us,  seeing  that  we  are  all  the  more  inex- 
cusable. When  we  do  not  cultivate  the  good  seed,  there  is 
much  reason  that  the  thorns  and  thistles  of  Satan  should  spring 
up  to  trouble  and  annoy  us.  Since  we  do  not  render  to  our 
Creator  the  submission  which  is  due  to  him,  it  is  no  wonder 
that  men  rise  up  against  us. 

From  what  I  am  given  to  understand,  Monseigneur,  there 
are  two  kinds  of  rebels  who  have  risen  up  against  the  King  and 
the  Estates  of  the  Kingdom.  The  one,  a  fantastical  sort  of 
persons,  who,  under  colour  of  the  Gospel,  would  put  all  into 
confusion.  The  others  are  persons  who  persist  in  the  supersti- 
tions of  the  Roman  Antichrist.  Both  alike  deserve  to  be  re- 
pressed by  the  sword  which  is  committed  to  you,  since  they  not 
only  attack  the  King,  but  strive  with  God,  who  has  placed  him 
upon  a  royal  throne,  and  has  committed  to  you  the  protection 
as  well  of  his  person  as  of  his  majesty.  But  the  chief  point  is, 
to  endeavour,  as  much  as  possible,  that  those  who  have  some 
savour  of  a  liking  for  the  doctrine  of  the  Gospel,  so  as  to  hold 
fast,  should  receive  it  with  such  humility  and  godly  fear,  as  to 
renounce  self  in  order  to  serve  God;  for  they  ought  seriously  to 
consider  that  God  would  awaken  them  all,  so  that  in  good  ear- 
nest they  may  profit  far  more  from  his  word  than  they  have 
ever  yet  done.     These  madmen,  who  would  have  the  whole 


188  THE  PROTECTOK  SOMERSET,  [1548. 

world  turned  back  into  a  chaos  of  licentiousness,  are  Lired  by 
Satan  to  defame  the  Gospel,  as  if  it  bred  nothing  but  revolt 
against  princes,  and  all  sorts  of  disorder  in  the  world.  Where- 
fore, all  the  faithful  ought  to  be  deeply  grieved.  The  Papists,  in 
endeavouring  to  maintain  the  corruptions  and  abominations  of 
their  Romish  idol,  shew  themselves  to  be  the  open  enemies  of  the 
grace  of  Jesus  Christ,  and  of  all  his  ordinances.  That  ought 
likewise  to  occasion  great  sickness  at  heart  among  all  those  who 
have  a  singledropof  godly  zeal.  And  therefore  they  ought  every 
one  of  them  earnestly  to  consider,  that  these  are  the  rods  of  God 
for  their  correction.  And  wherefore?  Just  because  they  do  not 
set  a  proper  value  on  the  doctrine  of  salvation.  Herein  lies  the 
chief  remedy  for  the  silencing  of  such  calumnies,  that  those 
who  make  profession  of  the  Gospel  be  indeed  renewed  after 
the  image  of  God,  so  as  to  make  manifest  that  our  Christianity 
does  not  occasion  any  interruption  of  the  humanities  of  social 
life,  and  to  give  good  evidence,  by  their  temperance  and  mode- 
ration, that  being  governed  by  the  word  of  God,  we  are  not 
unruly  people  subject  to  no  restraint,  and  so  by  an  upright  holy 
life  shut  the  mouth  of  all  the  evil  speakers.  For  by  this  means 
God,  being  pacified,  shall  withdraw  his  hand,  and  instead  of, 
as  at  this  day,  punishing  the  contempt  with  which  they  have 
treated  his  word,  he  will  reward  their  obedience  with  all  pros- 
perity. It  would  be  well  were  all  the  nobility  and  those  who 
administer  justice,  to  submit  themselves,  in  uprightness  and  all 
humility,  to  this  great  king,  Jesus  Christ,  paying  him  sincere 
homage,  and  with  faith  unfeigned,  in  body,  soul,  and  spirit,  so 
that  he  may  correct  and  beat  down  the  arrogance  and  rashness 
of  those  who  would  rise  up  against  them.  Thus  ought  earthly 
princes  to  rule  and  govern,  serving  Jesus  Christ,  and  taking 
order  that  he  may  have  his  own  sovereign  authority  over  all, 
both  small  and  great.  Wherefore,  Monseigneur,  as  you  hold 
dear  and  in  regard  the  estate  of  your  royal  nephew,  as  indeed 
you  shew  plainly  that  you  do,  I  beseech  you,  in  the  name  of 
God,  to  apply  your  chief  care  and  watchfulness  to  this  end, 
that  the  doctrine  of  God  may  be  proclaimed  with  efficacy  and 
power,  so  as  to  produce  its  fruit,  and  never  to  grow  weary, 
whatsoever  may  happen,  in  following  out  fully,  an  open  and 


1548.]  THE   PROTECTOR  SOMERSET.  189 

comjDlete  reformation  of  the  Church.  The  better  to  explain  to 
you  what  I  mean,  I  shall  arrange  the  whole  under  three  heads. 

The  first  shall  treat  of  the  sound  instruction  of  the  people; 
the  second  shall  regard  the  rooting  out  of  abuses  which  have 
prevailed  hitherto ;  the  third,  the  careful  repression  and  cor- 
rection of  vice,  and  to  take  strict  heed  that  scandals  and  loose 
conversation  may  not  grow  into  a  fashion,  so  as  to  cause  the 
name  of  God  to  be  blasphemed. 

As  concerning  the  first  article,  I  do  not  mean  to  pronounce 
what  doctrine  ought  to  have  place.  Eather  do  I  offer  thanks 
to  God  for  his  goodness,  that  after  having  enlightened  you  in 
the  pure  knowledge  of  himself,  he  has  given  you  wisdom  and 
discretion  to  take  measures  that  his  pure  truth  may  be 
preached.  Praise  be  to  God,  you  have  not  to  learn  what  is  the 
true  faith  of  Christians,  and  the  doctrine  which  they  ought  to 
hold,  seeing  that  by  your  means  the  true  purity  of  the  faith  has 
been  restored.  That  is,  that  we  hold  God  alone  to  be  the  sole 
Governor  of  our  souls,  that  we  hold  his  law  to  be  the  only 
rule  and  spiritual  directory  for  our  consciences,  not  serving 
him  according  to  the  foolish  inventions  of  men.  Also,  that 
according  to  his  nature  he  would  be  worshipped  in  spirit  and 
in  purity  of  heart.  On  the  other  hand,  acknowledging  that 
there  is  nothing  but  all  wretchedness  in  ourselves,  and  that  we 
are  corrupt  in  all  our  feelings  and  affections,  so  that  our  souls 
are  a  very  abyss  of  iniquity,  utterly  despairing  of  ourselves ; 
and  that,  having  exhausted  every  presumption  of  our  own 
wisdom,  worth,  or  power  of  well-doing,  we  must  have  recourse 
to  the  fountain  of  every  blessing,  which  is  in  Christ  Jesus, 
accepting  that  which  he  confers  on  us,  that  is  to  say,  the  merit 
of  his  death  and  passion,  that  by  this  means  we  may  be  recon- 
ciled to  God ;  that  being  washed  in  his  blood,  we  may  have 
no  fear  lest  our  spots  prevent  us  from  finding  grace  at  the 
heavenly  throne ;  that  being  assured  that  our  sins  are  pardoned 
freely  in  virtue  of  his  sacrifice,  we  may  lean,  yea  rest,  upon 
that  for  assurance  of  our  salvation  ;  that  we  may  be  sanctified 
by  his  Spirit,  and  so  consecrate  ourselves  to  the  obedience  of 
the  righteousness  of  God;  that  being  strengthened  by  his  grace, 
we  may  overcome  Satan,  the  world,  and  the  flesh  ;  finally,  that 


190  THE  PEOTECTOE  SOMEESET.  [1548. 

being  members  of  his  body,  we  may  never  doubt  that  God 
reckons  us  among  the  number  of  his  children,  and  that  we 
may  confidently  call  upon  him  as  our  Father ;  that  we  may  be 
careful  to  recognize  and  bear  in  mind  this  purpose  in  whatso- 
ever is  said  or  done  in  the  Church,  namely,  that  being  sepa- 
rated from  the  world,  we  should  rise  to  heaven  with  our  Head 
and  Saviour.  Seeing  then  that  God  has  given  you  grace  to 
re-establish  the  knowledge  of  this  doctrine,  which  had  been  so 
long  buried  out  of  sight  by  Antichrist,  I  forbear  from  enter- 
ing further  on  the  subject. 

What  I  have  thus  suggested  as  to  the  manner  of  instruction, 
is  only  that  the  people  be  so  taught  as  to  be  touched  to  the 
quick,  and  that  they  may  feel  that  what  the  Apostle  says  is  true, 
(Heb.  iv.)  that  "the  word  of  God  is  a  two-edged  sword,  piercing 
even  through  the  thoughts  and  affections  to  the  very  marrow  of 
the  bones."  I  speak  thus,  Monseigneur,  because  it  appears  to 
me  that  there  is  very  little  preaching  of  a  lively  kind  in  the 
kingdom,  but  that  the  greater  part  deliver  it  by  way  of  reading 
from  a  written  discourse.  I  see  very  well  the  necessity  which 
constrains  you  to  that ;  for  in  the  first  place  you  have  not,  as  I 
believe,  such  well-approved  and  competent  pastors  as  you  desire. 
Wherefore,  you  need  forthwith  to  supply  this  want.  Secondly, 
there  may  very  likely  be  among  them  many  flighty  persons 
who  would  go  beyond  all  bounds,  sowing  their  own  silly  fancies, 
as  often  happens  on  occasion  of  a  change.  But  all  these  con- 
siderations ought  not  to  hinder  the  ordinance  of  Jesus  Christ 
from  having  free  course  in  the  preaching  of  the  Gospel.  Now, 
this  preaching  ought  not  to  be  lifeless  but  lively,  to  teach,  to 
exhort,  to  reprove,  as  Saint  Paul  says  in  speaking  thereof  to 
Timothy,  (2  Tim.  iii.)  So  indeed,  that  if  an  unbeliever  enter, 
he  may  be  so  effectually  arrested  and  convinced,  as  to  give 
glory  to  God,  as  Paul  says  in  another  passage,  (1  Cor.  xiv.) 
You  are  also  aware,  Monseigneur,  how  he  speaks  of  the  lively 
power  and  energy  with  which  they  ought  to  speak,  who  would 
approve  themselves  as  good  and  faithful  ministers  of  God,  who 
must  not  make  a  parade  of  rhetoric,  only  to  gain  esteem  for 
themselves  ;  but  that  the  Spirit  of  God  ought  to  sound  forth  by 
their  voice,  so  as  to  work  with  mighty  energy.     Whatever 


lo-iS.]  THE   PROTECTOR   SOMERSET.  191 

may  be  the  amount  of  danger  to  be  feared,  that  ought  not  to 
ninder  the  Spirit  of  God  from  having  liberty  and  free  course 
in  those  to  whom  he  has  given  grace  for  the  edifying  of  the 
Church. 

True  it  is,  nevertheless,  that  it  is  both  right  and  fitting  to 
oppose  the  levity  of  some  fantastic  minds,  who  allow  themselves 
in  too  great  license,  and  also  to  shut  the  door  against  all  eccen- 
tricities and  new  doctrines;  but  the  method  to  be  taken,  which 
God  hath  pointed  out  to  us,  for  dealing  with  such  occurrences, 
is  well  fitted  to  dispose  of  them.  In  the  first  place,  there  ought 
to  be  an  explicit  summary  of  the  doctrine  which  all  ought  to 
preach,  which  all  prelates  and  curates  swear  to  follow,  and  no 
one  should  be  received  to  any  ecclesiastical  charge  who  does  not 
promise  to  preserve  such  agreement.  Next,  that  they  have  a 
common  formula  of  instruction  for  little  children  and  for  ignorant 
persons,  serving  to  make  them  familiar  with  sound  doctrine,  so 
that  they  may  be  able  to  discern  the  difl'erence  between  it  and 
the  falsehood  and  corruptions  which  may  be  brought  forward  ia 
opposition  to  it.  Believe  me,  Monseigneur,  the  Church  of  God 
will  never  preserve  itself  without  a  Catechism,  for  it  is  like  the 
seed  to  keep  the  good  grain  from  dying  out,  and  causing  it  to 
multiply  from  age  to  age.  And  therefore,  if  you  desire  to  build 
an  edifice  which  shall  be  of  long  duration,  and  which  shall  not 
soon  fall  into  decay,  make  provision  for  the  children  being  in- 
structed in  a  good  Catechism,  which  may  shew  them  briefly, 
and  in  language  level  to  their  tender  age,  wherein  true  Chris- 
tianity consists.  This  Catechism  will  serve  two  purposes,  to 
wit,  as  an  introduction  to  the  whole  people,  so  that  every  one 
may  profit  from  what  shall  be  preached,  and  also  to  enable  them 
to  discern  when  any  presumptuous  person  puts  forward  strange 
doctrine.  Indeed,  I  do  not  say  that  it  may  not  be  well,  and  even 
necessary,  to  bind  down,  the  pastors  and  curates  to  a  certain 
written  form,  as  well  for  the  sake  of  supplementing  the  ignor- 
ance and  deficiencies  of  some,  as  the  better  to  manifest  the  con- 
formity and  agreement  between  all  the  churches ;  thirdly,  to 
take  away  all  ground  of  pretence  for  bringing  in  any  eccentri- 
city or  new-fangled  doctrine  on  the  part  of  those  who  only  seek 
to  indulge  an  idle  fancy;  as  I  have  already  said,  the  Catechism 


192  THE   PROTECTOR   SOMERSET.  [1548. 

ought  to  serve  as  a  check  upon  such  people.  There  is,  besides, 
the  form  and  manner  of  administration  of  the  sacraments;  also 
the  public  prayers.  But  whatever,  in  the  meantime,  be  the 
arrangement  in  regard  to  these  matters,  care  must  betaken  not 
to  quench  the  eflEicacy  which  ought  to  attend  the  preaching  of 
the  Gospel.  And  the  utmost  care  should  be  taken,  that  so  far 
as  possible  you  have  good  trumpets,  which  shall  sound  into  the 
very  depths  of  the  heart.  For  there  is  some  danger  that  you 
may  see  no  great  profit  from  all  the  reformation  which  you  shall 
have  brought  about,  however  sound  and  godly  it  may  have  been, 
unless  this  powerful  instrument  of  preaching  be  developed  more 
and  more.  It  is  not  said  without  a  meaning,  that  Jesus  Christ 
shall  smite  the  earth  with  the  rod  of  his  mouth,  and  with  the 
breath  of  his  lips  shall  he  slay  the  ivicJced,  (Is.  xi.  4.)  The  way 
by  which  he  is  pleased  to  subdue  us  is,  by  destroying  whatso- 
ever is  contrary  to  himself.  And  herein  you  may  also  perceive 
why  the  Gospel  is  called  the  Kingdom  of  God.  Even  so,  albeit 
the  edicts  and  statutes  of  princes  are  good  helps  for  advancing 
and  upholding  the  state  of  Christianity,  yet  God  is  pleased  to 
declare  his  sovereign  power  by  this  spiritual  sword  of  his 
word,  when  it  is  made  known  by  the  pastors. 

Not  to  tire  you,  Monseigneur,  I  shall  now  come  to  the 
second  point  which  I  propose  to  touch  upon;  that  is,  the  aboli. 
tion  and  entire  uprooting  of  the  abuses  and  corruptions  which 
Satan  had  aforetime  mixed  up  with  the  ordinances  of  God.  We 
wot  well  that  under  the  Pope  there  is  a  bastard  sort  of  Chris- 
tianity, and  that  God  will  disavow  it  at  the  last  day,  seeing  that 
he  now  condemns  it  by  his  word.  If  we  desire  to  rescue  the 
world  from  such  an  abyss,  there  is  no  better  method  than  to 
follow  the  example  of  St.  Paul,  who,  wishing  to  correct  what 
the  Corinthians  had  improperly  added  to  the  Supper  of  our 
Lord,  tells  them,  (1  Cor.  xi.,)  I  have  received  of  the  Lord  that 
which  I  have  delivered  to  you,  Thence  we  are  bound  to  take 
a  general  instruction,  to  return  to  the  strict  and  natural  mean- 
ing of  the  commandment  of  God,  if  we  would  have  a  sound 
reformation  and  by  him  approven.  For  whatsoever  mixtures 
men  have  brought  in  of  their  own  devising,  have  been  just  so 
many  pollutions  which  turn  us  aside  from  the  sanctified  use  of 


1548.]  THE   PROTECTOR   SOMERSET.  193 

what  God  has  bestowed  for  our  salvation.  Therefore,  to  lop  off 
such  abuses  by  halves  will  by  no  means  restore  things  to  a  state 
of  purity,  for  then  we  shall  always  have  a  dressed-up  Chris- 
tianity. I  say  this,  because  there  are  some  who,  under  pretence 
of  moderation,  are  in  favour  of  sparing  many  abuses,  without 
meddling  with  them  at  all,  and  to  whom  it  appears  enough  to 
have  rooted  out  the  principal  one.  But  on  the  contrary,  we  see 
how  fertile  is  the  seed  of  falsehood,  and  that  only  a  single  grain 
is  needed  to  fill  the  world  with  them  in  three  days'  time,  to  such 
an  extent  are  men  inclined  and  addicted  thereto.  Our  Lord 
teaches  quite  another  method  of  procedure,  for  when  David 
speaks  of  the  idols,  he  says,  (Psalm  xvi.,)  Their  names  ivill  I  not 
take  up  into  my  lips,  to  intimate  in  what  degree  of  detestation 
we  ought  to  hold  them.  Above  all,  if  we  consider  how  we  have 
offended  God  in  the  days  of  our  ignorance,  we  ought  to  feel 
doubly  bound  to  flee  from  the  inventions  of  Satan,  which  have 
led  us  into  the  commission  of  evil,  as  from  baits  which  serve 
only  to  seduce  souls.  On  the  other  hand,  we  see,  even  when 
we  remonstrate  with  men  about  their  faults  and  errors,  though 
we  warn  them  as  earnestly  as  possible,  they  are  nevertheless  so 
hardened  that  we  can  produce  no  effect.  If,  therefore,  we  were 
to  leave  them  any  remnant  of  abuse,  that  would  only  serve  to 
nourish  their  obstinacy  the  more,  and  become  a  veil  to  darken 
all  the  doctrine  which  we  might  set  before  them.  I  willingly 
acknowledge  that  we  must  observe  moderation,  and  that  over- 
doing is  neither  discreet  nor  useful ;  indeed,  that  forms  of  wor- 
ship need  to  be  accommodated  to  the  condition  and  tastes  of  the 
people.  But  the  corruptions  of  Satan  and  of  Antichrist  must 
not  be  admitted  under  that  pretext.  Therefore  it  is  that  Holy 
Scripture,  when  praising  those  kings  who  had  cast  down  the 
idols  and  their  worshippers,  not  having  swept  them  entirely 
away,  notes  it  as  a  blemish,  that  nevertheless  they  had  not  cast 
down  the  chapelries  and  places  of  silly  devotion.  Wherefore, 
Monseigneur,  seeing  that  God  has  brought  you  so  far,  take 
order,  I  beseech  you,  that  so  without  any  exception  he  may 
approve  you  as  a  repairer  of  his  temple,  so  that  the  times  of 
the  king  your  nephew  may  be  compared  to  those  of  Josiah,  and 
that  you  put  things  in  such  condition,  that  he  may  only  need 
25 


194  THE   PEOTECTOR  SOMERSET.  [1548. 

to  maintain  the  goodly  order  which  God  shall  have  prepared 
for  him  by  your  means.  I  will  mention  to  you  an  instance  of 
such  corruptions,  as,  if  they  were  allowed  to  remain,  would  be- 
come a  little  leaven,  to  sour  in  the  end  the  whole  lump.  In 
your  country,  some  prayer  is  made  for  the  departed  on  occasion 
of  communicating  in  the  Lord's  Supper.  I  am  well  aware  that 
it  is  not  done  in  admission  of  the  purgatory  of  the  Pope.  I  am 
also  aware  that  ancient  custom  can  be  pleaded  for  making  some 
mention  of 'the  departed,  for  the  sake  of  uniting  together  all 
the  members  of  the  one  body.  But  there  is  a  peremptory 
ground  of  objection  against  it,  that  the  Supper  of  Jesus  Christ 
is  an  action  so  sacred,  that  it  ought  not  to  be  soiled  by  any 
human  inventions  whatsoever.  And  besides,  in  prayer  to  God, 
we  must  not  take  an  unbounded  license  in  our  devotions,  but 
observe  the  rule  which  St.  Paul  gives  us,  (Romans  x.,)  which 
is,  that  we  must  be  founded  upon  the  word  of  God  ;  therefore, 
such  commemoration  of  the  dead,  as  imports  a  commending 
of  them  to  his  grace,  is  contrary  to  the  due  form  and  manner 
of  prayer, — it  is  a  hurtful  addition  to  the  Supper  of  our  Lord. 
There  are  other  things  which  possibly  may  be  less  open  to 
reproof,  which  however  are  not  to  be  excused :  such  as  the 
ceremony  of  chrism  and  unction.  The  chrism  has  been  in- 
vented out  of  a  frivolous  humour  by  those  who,  not  content 
with  the  institution  of  Jesus  Christ,  desired  to  counterfeit  the 
Holy  Spirit  by  a  new  sign,  as  if  water  were  not  sufficient  for 
the  purpose.  What  they  call  extreme  unction,  has  been  re- 
tained by  the  inconsiderate  zeal  of  those,  who  have  wished  to 
follow  the  apostles  without  being  gifted  as  they  were.  When 
the  apostles  used  oil  in  the  case  of  the  sick,  it  was  for  the  heal- 
ing of  them  miraculously.  Now,  when  the  gift  of  miracles  has 
ceased,  the  figure  ought  no  longer  to  be  employed.  Wherefore, 
it  would  be  much  better  that  these  things  should  be  pruned 
away,  so  that  you  might  have  nothing  which  is  not  conform  to 
the  word  of  God,  and  serviceable  for  the  edification  of  the 
Church.  It  is  quite  true  we  ought  to  bear  with  the  weak  ;  but 
in  order  to  strengthen  them,  and  to  lead  them  to  greater  per- 
fection. That  does  not  mean,  however,  that  we  are  to  humour 
blockheads  who  wish  for  this  or  that,  without  knowing  why.    I 


1548.]  THE   PROTECTOK  SOMERSET.  195 

know  the  consideration  which  keeps  back  many  is,  that  they 
are  afraid  too  great  a  change  could  not  be  carried  through.  It 
is  admitted,  that  when  we  have  to  do  with  neighbours  with 
whom  we  desire  to  cherish  friendly  feeling,  one  is  disposed  to 
gratify  them  by  giving  way  in  many  things.  In  worldly  matters, 
that  may  be  quite  bearable,  wherein  it  is  allowable  to  yield 
one  to  another,  and  to  forego  one's  right  for  the  sake  of  peace; 
but  it  is  not  altogether  the  same  thing  in  regard  to  the  spiritual 
governance  of  the  Church,  which  ought  to  be  according  to  the 
ordinance  of  the  word  of  God.  Herein,  we  are  not  at  liberty 
to  yield  up  anything  to  men,  nor  to  turn  aside  on  either  hand 
in  their  favour.  Indeed  there  is  nought  that  is  more  displeas- 
ing to  God,  than  when  we  would,  in  accordance  with  our  own 
human  wisdom,  modify  or  curtail,  advance  or  retreat,  other- 
wise than  he  would  have  us.  Wherefore,  if  we  do  not  wish  to 
displease  him,  we  must  shut  our  eyes  to  the  opinion  of  men. 
As  for  the  dangers  which  may  arise,  we  ought  to  avoid  them 
so  far  as  we  can,  but  never  by  going  aside  from  the  straight 
road.  While  we  walk  uprightly,  we  have  his  promise  that  he 
will  help  us.  Therefore,  what  remains  for  us  is  to  do  our  duty, 
humbly  committing  the  event  unto  himself.  And  here  we 
may  perceive  wherefore  the  wise  men  of  this  world  are  ofttimes 
disappointed  in  their  expectation,  because  God  is  not  with 
them,  when,  in  distrust  of  him  and  his  aid,  they  seek  out 
crooked  paths  and  such  as  he  condemns.  Do  we  then  wish  to 
feel  that  we  have  the  power  of  God  upon  our  side  ?  Let  us 
simply  follow  what  he  tells  us.  Above  all,  we  must  cling  to 
this  maxim,  that  the  reformation  of  his  Church  is  the  work  of 
his  hand.  Wherefore,  in  such  matters,  men  must  leave  them- 
selves to  be  guided  by  him.  What  is  more,  whether  in  re- 
storing or  in  preserving  the  Church,  he  thinks  fit,  for  the  most 
part,  to  proceed  after  a  method  marvellous,  and  beyond  human 
conception.  And,  therefore,  it  were  unseemly  to  confine  that 
restoration,  which  must  be  divine,  to  the  measure  of  our  un- 
derstanding, and  to  bring  that  which  is  heavenly  into  subjec- 
tion to  what  is  earthly  and  of  this  world's  fashion.  I  do  not 
thus  exclude  the  prudence  which  is  so  much  needed,  to  take 
all  appropriate  and  right  means,  not  falling  into  extremes  either 


196  THE  PROTECTOR  SOMERSET.  [1548. 

on  the  one  side  or  upon  tbe  other,  to  gain  over  the  whole 
world  to  God,  if  that  were  possible.  But  the  wisdom  of  the 
Spirit,  not  that  of  the  flesh,  must  overrule  all ;  and  having  in- 
quired at  the  mouth  of  the  Lord,  we  must  ask  him  to  guide 
and  lead  us,  rather  than  follow  the  bent  of  our  own  under- 
standing. When  we  take  this  method,  it  will  be  easy  to  cut 
off  much  occasion  of  temptation,  which  might  otherwise  stop 
our  progress  midway. 

Wherefore,  Monseigneur,  as  you  have  begun  to  bring  back 
Christianity  to  the  place  which  belongs  to  it,  throughout  the 
realm  of  England,  not  at  all  in  self-confidence,  but  upheld  by 
the  hand  of  God,  as  hitherto  you  have  had  sensible  experience 
of  that  powerful  arm,  you  must  not  doubt  that  it  shall  con- 
tinue with  you  to  the  end.  If  God  upholds  the  kingdoms  and 
the  principalities  of  the  infidels  who  are  his  enemies,  far  more 
certainly  will  he  have  in  safeguard  those  who  range  themselves 
on  his  side  and  seek  him  for  their  superior. 

I  come  now  to  the  last  point,  which  concerns  the  chastise- 
ment of  vice  and  the  repression  of  scandals.  I  have  no  doubt 
that  there  are  laws  and  statutes  of  the  kingdom  both  good  and 
laudable,  to  keep  the  people  within  the  bounds  of  decency. 
But  the  great  and  boundless  licentiousness  which  I  see  every- 
where throughout  the  world,  constrains  me  to  beseech  you,  that 
you  would  earnestly  turn  your  attention  to  keeping  men  within 
the  restraint  of  sound  and  wholesome  discipline.  That,  above 
all,  you  would  hold  yourself  charged,  for  the  honour  of  God,  to 
punish  those  crimes  of  which  men  have  been  in  the  habit  of 
making  no  very  great  account.  I  speak  of  this,  because  some- 
times larcenies,  assault,  and  extortions  are  more  severely 
punished,  because  thereby  men  are  wronged ;  whereas  they  will 
tolerate  whoredom  and  adultery, drunkenness,  and  blaspheming 
of  the  name  of  God,  as  if  these  were  things  quite  allowable,  or  at 
least  of  very  small  importance.  Let  us  hear,  however,  what 
God  thinks  of  them.  He  proclaims  aloud,  how  precious  his 
name  is  unto  him.  Meanwhile,  it  is  as  if  torn  in  pieces  and 
trampled  under  foot.  It  can  never  be  that  he  will  allow  such 
shameful  reproach  to  remain  unpunished.  More  than  this, 
Scripture  clearly  points  out  to  us,  that  by  reason  of  blasphemies 


1548.]  THE   PROTECTOR  SOMERSET.  197 

a  whole  country  is  defiled.  As  concerning  adulteries,  we  who 
call  ourselves  Christians,  ought  to  take  great  shame  to  ourselves 
that  even  the  heathen  have  exercised  greater  rigour  in  their 
punishment  of  such  than  we  do,  seeing  even  that  some  among 
us  only  laugh  at  them.  When  holy  matrimony,  which  ought 
to  be  a  lively  image  of  the  sacred  union  which  we  have  with 
the  Son  of  God,  is  polluted,  and  the  covenant,  which  ought  to 
stand  more  firm  and  indissoluble  than  any  in  this  world,  is 
disloyally  rent  asunder,  if  we  do  not  lay  to  heart  that  sin 
against  God,  it  is  a  token  that  our  zeal  for  God  is  very  low 
indeed.  As  for  whoredom,  it  ought  to  be  quite  enough  for  us 
that  St,  Paul  compares  it  to  sacrilege,  inasmuch  as  by  its  means 
the  temples  of  God,  which  our  bodies  are,  are  profaned.  Be 
it  remembered  also,  that  whoremongers  and  drunkards  are 
banished  from  the  kingdom  of  God,  on  such  terms  that  we  are 
forbidden  to  converse  with  them,  whence  it  clearly  follows,  that 
they  ought  not  to  be  endured  in  the  Church.  We  see  herein 
the  cause  why  so  many  rods  of  judgment  are  at  this  very  day 
lifted  up  over  the  earth.  For  the  more  easily  men  pardon 
themselves  in  such  enormities,  the  more  certainly  will  God 
take  vengeance  on  them.  Wherefore,  to  prevent  his  wrath,  I 
entreat  of  you,  Monseigneur,  to  hold  a  tight  rein,  and  to  take 
order,  that  those  who  hear  the  doctrine  of  the  Gospel,  approve 
their  Christianity  by  a  life  of  holiness.  For  as  doctrine  is  the 
soul  of  the  Church  for  quickening,  so  discipline  and  the  correc- 
tion of  vices  are  like  the  nerves  to  sustain  the  body  in  a  state 
of  health  and  vigour.  The  duty  of  bishops  and  curates  is  to 
keep  watch  ove;"  that,  to  the  end  that  the  Supper  of  our  Lord 
may  not  be  polluted  by  people  of  scandalous  lives.  But  in  the 
authority  where  God  has  set  you,  thechief  responsibility  returns 
upon  you,  who  have  a  special  charge  given  you  to  set  the  others 
in  motion,  on  purpose  that  every  one  discharge  himself  of 
duty,  and  diligently  to  look  to  it,  that  the  order  which  shall 
have  been  established  may  be  duly  observed. 

Now,  Monseigneur,  agreeably  to  the  protestation  which  I 
made  above,  I  shall  make  no  further  excuse,  neither  of  the 
tiresomeness  of  my  letter,  nor  on  account  of  my  having  thus 
freely  laid  open  to  you  what  I  had  so  much  at  heart.    For  I 


198  FAREL.  [1548. 

feel  assured  that  mj  affection  is  well  known  to  you,  while  in 
your  wisdom,  and  as  you  are  well  versed  in  the  Holy  Scriptures, 
you  perceive  from  what  fountain  I  have  drawn  all  that  is  herein 
contained.  Wherefore,  I  do  not  fear  to  have  been  troublesome 
or  importunate  to  you,  in  making  manifest,  according  as  I 
could,  the  hearty  desire  I  have  that  the  name  of  God  may 
always  be  more  and  more  glorified  by  you,  which  is  my  daily 
supplication ;  beseeching  him  that  he  would  please  to  increase 
bis  grace  in  you,  to  confirm  you  by  his  Spirit  in  a  true  uncon- 
querable constancy,  upholding  you  against  all  enemies,  having 
yourself  with  your  whole  household  under  his  holy  protection, 
enabling  you  successfully  to  administer  the  charge  which  is 
committed  to  you,  that  so  the  King  may  have  whereof  to 
praise  this  gracious  God  for  having  had  such  a  governor  in 
his  childhood,  both  for  his  person  and  for  his  kingdom. 

Whereupon  I  shall  make  an  end,  Monseigneur,  very  humbly 
commending  me  to  your  kind  favour.  ,. 

[Fr.  Copy. — Libranj  of  Geneva.    Yol.  107.] 


CCXXX.— To  Farel. 

Election  of  new  magistrates  at  Geneva — troubles  in  France —  letter  from  Bucer. 

Geneva,  21th  Novemher  1548. 

You  ought  not  to  impute  to  my  negligence  your  not  having 
received  a  letter  from  me  since  you  set  sail  from  this  place;  for 
I  have  found  no  one  setting  out  in  your  direction.  It  is  not 
quite  safe,  moreover,  in  these  times,  for  a  letter  to  be  carried 
about  by  a  variety  of  hands.  In  the  next  place,  I  hardly  know 
what  to  write  to  you,  because  there  is  nothing  that  is  not  fitted 
to  cause  you  much  more  annoyance  than  satisfaction.  The 
prefect  Molard  is  here,  with  whom  are  joined  as  assessors  the 
eldest  son  of  Balthazar  and  a  certain  Rigot  of  that  faction.  You 
see,  therefore,  that  there  will  be  no  danger  this  year  to  the  wicked 
from  the  severity  of  the  judges.  We  wait,  however,  to  see  in 
what  channel  their  licence  will  break  forth.     On  the  same  day 


1548.]  FAREL.  199 

our  comic  friend  Cajsar  again  donned  tlie  socks.'  Being  now 
rendered  somewhat  more  ferocious,  he  boasts  among  his  stage- 
players  after  his  own  Thrasonic  fashion.  Finally,  there  appears 
to  be  no  hope  of  speedy  amendment,  whatever  we  may  essay. 
Nor  is  it  to  be  doubted  that  they  are  labouring  to  effect  a  great 
revolution  in  the  republic  at  the  next  assembly  of  syndics ;  but 
the  Lord  in  heaven  is  vigilant. 

The  commotions  at  Bourdeaux  are  settled,  or  they  are  at  least 
lulled  for  a  season.^  For  examples  of  extreme  cruelty  have  been 
exhibited,  which  may  in  a  short  time  boil  forth  in  greater  tem- 
pests. The  people  of  Saintonge  keep  themselves  concealed  in 
the  isles.  Bucer  lately  wrote  to  me  that  Antiochus  was  looking 
forward  to  a  day  of  purification.  As  far  as  I  can  gather  from  his 
letter,  the  council  have  no  heart  for  that.^  I  also  received  a 
letter  from  BuUinger  yesterday.  When  I  reply  you  will  know 
all.  Should  our  council  by  chance  permit  what  has  been  adduced 
against  the  Interim  of  the  sons  of  Cassar*  to  be  printed  here, 
1  shall  send  you  a  copy  by  the  first  messenger  I  can  find.  But 
as  Trolliet  maintains  among  his  own  friends  that  there  is  no 
need  of  so  many  books  and  sermons,  I  am  afraid  lest  his  autho- 
rity prove  so  powerful  as  to  force  us  to  seek  a  press  elsewhere. 
Adieu,  brother  and  most  sincere  friend,  along  with  your  col- 
leagues Fatin,  Michel,  Thomas,  and  the  rest  of  the  co-presby- 
ters. May  the  Lord  continue  to  guide  you  all  by  his  Holy 
Spirit.  You  will  salute  your  whole  family  in  my  name  and  in 
that  of  my  wife.  All  my  city  colleagues  salute  you.  The 
others  conduct  themselves  piously  and  uprightly,  with  the  two 
exceptions  of  Philip  and  Ludovic  Siliniac.    James  Bernard  had 

'  Deprived,  the  preceding  year,  of  bis  office  of  councillor  and  captain-general. 
Amy  Perrin  had  contrived,  by  the  force  of  intrigue,  lo  recover  his  former 
dignities. 

*  The  city  of  Bourdeaux  having  risen  in  revolt  against  the  authority  of  the  king  ou 
the  ground  of  fresh  taxation,  the  Constable  Montmorencj',  being  commissioned  to 
suppress  the  disturbances,  acted  with  relentless  severity,  and  signalized  his  entry  into 
the  capital  of  Guienne  by  frightful  executions. — De  Thou,  Lib.  v. 

"Bucer  wrote  to  Calvin  : — "  Earnestly  entreat  the  Lord  for  this  republic  that  it  may 
learn  to  put  away  its  own  will  and  obey  him." — Calv.  Opera,  Lib.  ix.  p.  46.  But  the 
magistrates  had  already  resolved  to  make  their  submission,  which  involved  the  sup- 
pression of  the  Gospel  in  that  unhappy  city. 

■*  Is  the  reference  to  the  partisans  of  the  Imperial  Alliance  ? 


200  JOHN  STURM.  [1548. 

lately  a  quarrel  with  a  grandson  of  Wendelin,  because  he 
allied  the  latter  too  closely  with  us.  His  brother  left  this  for 
another  place  three  days  ago.     In  haste,  yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  106.] 


CCXXXI.— To  John  Sturm.' 

Evidences  of  faith  and  Christian  steadfastness,  amid  the  dangers  that  threaten  the 

Church. 

[Geneva,  December  1548.] 

If  the  rumour  that  has  suddenly  been  spread  among  us  be 
true,  it  behoves  us  to  hold  ourselves  ready  for  the  clash  of  arms. 
"Would  that  the  world  were  wise,  for  in  that  case  it  would  long 
ago  have  been  accustomed  to  cultivate  peace  under  the  favour 
of  God.  But  since  a  good  part  of  it  takes  too  much  pleasure 
in  a  war  with  God,  it  is  but  just  that  all  those  who  refuse 
peaceably  to  submit  themselves  to  the  Author  of  Peace,  should 
perish  wretchedly  in  their  mutual  tumults.     We  ought  at  least 

'  Without  date.  This  letter  appears  to  have  been  written  at  the  moment  when 
Strasbourg,  menaced  by  the  victorious  army  of  Charles  V.,  was  disposed,  in  spite  of 
the  counsel  of  Bucer,  to  accept  the  Interim,  and  avoid  by  a  voluntary  submission  the 
punishment  inflicted  on  the  leagued  cities  of  Germany. — (December  1548.) 

John  Sturm,  a  learned  humanist  and  able  politician,  born  at  Sleida  in  1507,  passed 
throuo-h  a  brilliant  course  of  study  at  the  University  of  Louvain.  Famous  from  his 
youth  for  learning  and  eloquence,  he  was  nominated  in  1529  Professor  of  Belles 
Lettres  in  the  College  of  France,  founded  by  Francis  I.,  and  became  in  1537  Rector 
of  the  celebrated  Academy  of  Strasbourg.  Connected  thenceforward  with  the  German 
and  Swiss  Reformers,  he  occupied  an  important  place  in  the  religious  negotiations  of 
the  age,  maintained  a  correspondence  with  the  principal  European  sovereigns,  and 
died  in  1583. 

Calvin  and  Sturm  were  known  to  each  other,  and  associated  together  during  the 
sojourn  of  the  French  Reformer  at  Strasbourg.  From  this  period  date  the  relations 
they  maintained  during  many  years,  numerous  precious  memorials  of  which  are  to  be 
found  in  the  correspondence  of  Calvin.  See  on  the  subject  of  Sturm  the  curious  and 
learned  work  entitled : — La  vie  et  lea  travaux  de  Jean  Sturvi,  Premier  liecteur  cle 
VAoadimie  de  Strasbourg,  par  C.  Schmidt.     1  vol.  in  Svo,  1855. 


1549.]  MADAME   DE   CANY.  201 

to  take  this  consolation  in  the  midst  of  evils,  that  those  stormy 
troubles  bring  some  cessation  of  hostilities  to  the  Church  of 
God.  The  power  of  Antiochus  will  be  ruined  ;  our  Pharaoh, 
being  conquered,  will  turn  his  violent  assaults  elsewhere,  and 
relax  perchance  somewhat  of  his  severity  at  home.  New 
friends  also  will  be  able  to  efiect  some  mitigation.  I  refraia 
from  exhorting  you  to  use  your  efforts  in  the  particular  quarter 
to  which  I  refer,  because  I  am  persuaded  that  there  is  already 
sufficient  willingness.  As  to  the  rest,  whether  a  final  disper- 
sion be  imminent,  or,  what  is  more  pleasing  to  forecast,  whether 
the  Lord  has  resolved  to  gather  together,  by  means  of  earthly 
commotions,  into  his  heavenly  kingdom,  all  those  who  are 
now  scattered  and  wandering  wretchedly  abroad,  we  shall  have 
cherished  a  friendship  in  good  faith,  the  bond  of  which  is  in- 
violable  ^ 

[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Yol.  107*.] 


CCXXXII.— To  Madame  de  Cany.^ 

Exhortation  to  a  courageous  and  honest  profession  of  the  truth. 

This  8th  January  1549. 

Madame, — I  would  not  have  taken  the  liberty  to  write  to 
you,  if  a  man,  whom  I  ought  to  trust  among  all  others,  had  not 
emboldened  me  to  do  so,  by  assuring  me  that  my  letter  would 
be  agreeable  to  you.  That  is.  Monsieur  de  Normandie,  who, 
feeling  himself  obliged  to  you  for  the  kindness  you  had  shewn 
him,  had  a  special  desire  to  do  you  service,  so  far  as  he  had  the 

'  Conclusion  wanting  in  the  original  manuscript. 

'  Peronno  de  Pisseleu,  wife  of  Michel  de  Barbanfon,  Seigneur  de  Cany,  one  of  the 
personages  of  most  importance  in  Picardy.  This  lady,  instructed  in  the  Reformed 
faith  by  Laurent  de  Normandie,  lieutenant  of  the  king  at  Noyon,  and  the  friend  of 
Calvin,  had  for  a  long  time  to  endure  the  severity  of  her  husband,  who  afterwards 
came  at  a  later  period  to  be  a  partaker  of  like  faith. — Beze,  Hist.  EccL,  torn.  ii.  p. 
244. ;  De  Thou,  lib.  xxv.  Madame  de  Cany,  sister  of  the  Duchess  d'Etampes,  favour- 
ite of  the  late  king,  had  possessed  an  unbounded  influence  at  court,  which  she  always 
used  for  generous  purposes.  Her  ordinary  residence  was  the  Chiteau  de  Varannos, 
situated  on  the  Oise,  near  to  Noyon. 
26 


202  MADAME   DE   CANY.  [1549. 

means,  and  besides,  has  such  a  care  of  your  salvation  as  he  ought 
to  have  who  knows  that  you  have  loved  him,  as  partaker  of 
a  common  Christian  faith.  On  this  account  he  has  induced 
me  to  write  to  you,  thinking  that  not  only  you  might  take  plea- 
sure in  my  letters,  but  that  they  might  perhaps  be  profitable 
for  you,  as  well  for  your  consolation  in  present  extremity,  as  to 
exhort  you  to  perseverance  so  needfal  in  the  midst  of  such 
manifold  temptations.  And  would  to  God  I  might  have  more 
ample  opportunity  of  compliance  with  his  request.  But  seeing 
that  it  is  his  pleasure  that  we  should  be  separated  by  so  great 
a  distance,  which  does  not  permit  more  frequent  communica- 
tion between  us,  I  beseech  you,  Madame,  to  take  what  I  do 
write  as  a  testimony  of  the  earnest  desire  which  I  have  to  pro- 
mote your  salvation.  If,  because  of  the  confession  you  have 
made  of  your  Christianity,  murmurs  and  threatenings  rise  up 
against  you,  you  must  bear  in  mind  to  what  we  are  called, 
which  is,  that  notwithstanding  all  sorts  of  contradiction  on  the 
part  of  the  world,  we  must  render  to  the  Son  of  God  the 
homage  which  belongs  to  him.  These  indeed  should  be  to  you 
as  so  many  warnings  to  prepare  yourself  for  greater  things, 
for  neither  great  nor  small  ought  to  seek  exemption  from 
suffering  in  the  cause  of  our  Sovereign  King,  in  which  his 
honour  is  as  much  involved  as  our  salvation.  Above  all,  sinee 
himself  has  begun  by  shewing  us  the  way,  who  among  us  shall 
dare  to  refuse  to  follow  him  ?  "Where  is  the  greatness,  or  the 
elevation,  that  can  bestow  greater  privilege  upon  us  than  on 
himself?  And  more  than  that,  if  we  can  appreciate  the  honour 
he  confers  upon  us  in  making  use  of  our  service  to  maintain 
his  so  precious  truth,  we  shall  hold  it  to  be  a  peculiar  advan- 
tage, rather  than  be  annoyed  on  account  of  it.  True  it  is,  that 
the  human  understanding  cannot  apprehend  that ;  but,  seeing 
that  the  infallible  wisdom  of  God  pronounces,  that  those  who 
are  persecuted  for  the  testimony  of  the  Gospel  are  most  happy, 
at  all  hazards  we  must  needs  acquiesce  in  that  judgment.  And 
indeed,  who  are  we  that  we  should  maintain  the  cause  of  God? 
Where  is  our  sufficiency  for  it,  seeing  that  we  are  altogether 
inclined  to  falsehood?  Hc«r  should  we  be  witnesses  for  his 
truth,  unless  by  his  own  special  gracious  permission?  On  the 


1549.]  MADAME   DE   CANY.  203 

Other  hand,  seeing  that  we  deserve  on  account  of  our  sins  to 
suffer  all  shame  of  face  and  ignominy,  every  sort  of  misery 
and  torment,  yea  were  it  even  a  hundred  thousand  deaths,  if 
that  were  possible,  have  we  aught  to  complain  of,  ought  we 
not  rather  to  rejoice,  when,  forgetting  our  faults,  he  wills  that 
we  should  suffer  for  his  name?  Therefore,  inasmuch  as  we 
are  so  froward  and  carnal  that  we  cannot  reach  such  elevation, 
let  us  beg  of  this  gracious  God  that  he  would  please  to  im- 
print in  our  hearts  that  which  naturally  we  find  so  strange. 
Furthermore,  let  us  take  to  ourselves  the  example  of  the 
Apostles,  who  counted  the  reproach  of  the  world  as  a  great 
honour,  and  even  gloried  in  it.  In  short,  let  us  never  think 
that  we  have  fully  received  the  truth,  if  we  do  not  prefer,  above 
all  worldly  triumphs,  to  fight  under  the  banner  of  our  Lord 
Jesus,  that  is  to  say,  to  bear  his  cross. 

Even  so,  Madame,  consider,  I  beseech  you,  if  hitherto  you 
have  taken  pains  to  serve  and  honour  so  good  a  master,  how 
you  can  strive  more  earnestly  than  ever  to  arm  yourself  against 
opposition,  to  take  courage  against  all  difficulties  in  order  to 
surmount  them;  for,  since  the  worldly  often  manifest  invin- 
cible constancy  in  the  pursuit  of  their  vanities,  patiently  en- 
during so  many  labours,  troubles,  and  dangers,  it  would  be  too 
shameful  were  we  to  grow  weary  in  the  midst  of  the  way  of 
salvation  ;  albeit  that  this  is  by  no  means  all  that  is  required 
of  us,  that  we  shew  ourselves  steadfast  in  the  midst  of  persecu- 
tions ;  for,  even  if  there  were  no  enemies  to  make  open  war 
upon  us,  we  find  enough  of  aversion  and  indisposedness  in 
ourselves  and  all  around,  to  hinder  us  in  making  our  calling 
sure,  which  all  those  who  have  a  true  zeal  to  devote  themselves 
to  God,  experience  more  fully  than  any  one  could  tell  them. 
Inasmuch,  then,  as  I  hold  you  to  be  of  the  number,  I  entreat  you 
to  exercise  yourself  continually  in  the  doctrine  of  renouncing 
the  world  yet  more  and  more,  in  order  to  come  nearer  to  our 
Lord  Jesus,  who  has  once  for  all  purchased  us  to  separate  us 
unto  himself.  I  mean  the  world,  such  as  we  carry  it  within 
ourselves,  before  we  are  made  again  after  his  likeness.  And 
seeing  that  our  whole  nature,  inasmuch  as  by  the  corruption 
of  the  plague  it  has  been  depraved,  is  enmity  against  God,  the 


20J:  MADAME    DE   CANY.  [1549. 

kingdom  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  cannot  be  duly  established, 
until  all  which  is  ours  has  been  beaten  down ;  and  not  only 
the  open  vices  which  are  condemned  of  men,  but  also  even  our 
own  reason  and  wisdom.  I  am  aware  that  I  do  not  speak  to 
you  of  any  new  thing,  and  that  by  the  grace  of  God  you  have 
long  ago  begun  to  follow  in  the  way  of  the  holy  heavenly 
calling.  But  the  study  of  holiness  is  one  of  which  we  must 
avail  ourselves  even  to  the  end.  And  as  I  have  ample  cause 
to  praise  God  for  the  graces  he  has  bestowed  on  you,  and 
whereby  he  magnifies  himself  in  you,  by  making  his  own  glory 
to  shine  forth  therein  ;  in  also  looking  to  the  frailty  which  we 
all  feel,  I  think  it  no  superfluous  trouble  to  exhort  you  to 
follow  on,  as  indeed  you  do.  And  even  as  it  is  becoming  in 
Christians  to  submit  in  all  humility  to  receive  the  admonitions 
which  are  addressed  to  them  in  the  name  of  God,  even  that 
the  most  learned  should  gladly  submit  to  be  taught,  I  hope 
that  you  will  receive  the  whole  with  a  benign  and  kindly 
heart.  Believe  me,  when  I  hear  that  God  has  wrought  so 
powerfully  in  you,  and  that  he  has  vouchsafed  you  such  com- 
mendable qualities,  I  am  incited  all  the  more  to  desire  that  he 
would  increase  his  work  in  you,  until  he  has  quite  finished  it; 
and  this  it  is  that  has  constrained  me  more  freely  to  declare 
to  you  my  desire  and  affection. 

In  conclusion,  Madame,  having  humbly  commended  me  to 
your  kind  favour,  I  entreat  our  good  Lord  to  have  you  in  his 
holy  protection,  to  guide  you  by  his  Holy  Spirit  in  all  strength 
and  prudence,  to  vouchsafe  you  grace  to  promote  his  honour, 
until  he  gather  us  all  unto  himself. 

Your  servant  and  humble  brother, 

Charles  D'Espeville. 

[Fr.  Copy,  Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  107.] 


1549.]  MADEMOISELLE   DE   .   .  .   .  205 


CCXXXIII. — To  Mademoiselle  de  .  .  . 

Exhortations  to  steadfastness  in  the  faith — acknowledgment  of  liberality. 

The  I2th  of  January  1549. 

Madeaioiselle  my  Sister, — I  am  very  glad  that  your  letter 
has  afforded  an  occasion  for  my  writing  to  you,  so  that  with- 
out further  excuse  access  and  freedom  have  been  given  me, 
were  it  for  nought  else  than  to  declare  the  affection  I  have  for 
y6u.  Therein,  that  is  in  your  letter,  I  can  perceive  evident 
and  clear  signs  of  spiritual  vitality ;  and  I  have  not  a  doubt 
but  the  heart  speaks  therein  quite  as  much,  or  rather  more 
than  the  mouth.  Besides,  you  shew  convincingly  that  you 
have  no  longer  mere  passing  convictions,  such  as  many  people 
have  now  a-days,  but  that  you  have  been  touched  to  the  quick, 
and  moved  with  the  desire  of  dedicating  yourself  wholly  to 
God  and  to  his  will.  It  is  very  true,  as  you  say,  that  while 
clinging  from  worldly  fear  to  the  superstitions  which  in  the 
world  reign  paramount,  you  are  still  very  far  from  that  per- 
fection whereto  our  gracious  God  doth  call  us.  But  yet  it  is 
to  have  made  some  progress  even  to  acknowledge  our  sins, 
and  to  be  displeased  with  them.  You  must  now  advance  far- 
ther, and  condemning  your  own  weakness,  set  yourself  in  earn- 
est about  getting  rid  of  it ;  and  if  you  cannot  succeed  all  at 
once  in  compassing  your  wish,  yet  nevertheless  you  must 
persevere  in  seeking  the  remedy  for  it,  until  you  have  been 
completely  cured.  To  do  this,  you  will  find  it  to  be  of 
advantage  to  call  yourself  to  account  day  by  day,  and  while 
acknowledging  your  faults,  to  groan  within  yourself,  and  mourn 
over  them  before  God,  so  that  your  displeasure  against  what- 
soever is  evil  may  become  more  intense,  until  you  are  quite 
confirmed  and  resolved  to  renounce  it  as  you  ought,  even  as  in- 
deed I  feel  assured  you  labour  hard  to  do.  And  it  is  not  in 
vain  that  you  beg  of  me  to  join  my  prayers  with  yours,  to  seek 
with  importunity  to  God  that  he  would  be  pleased  to  have 
compassion  upon  you,  and  to  deliver  you  from  this  unhappy 


206  MADEMOISELLE   DE   .   .   .   .  [1549. 

captivity.  Let  us  continue  then  witli  one  accord  to  put  up  this 
request,  and  he  will  at  length  make  manifest  that  you  have  not 
altogether  lost  your  time.  True,  sometimes  he  lets  us  grow 
faint,  and  before  declaring  effectually  that  he  has  heard  our 
prayers,  he  seems  to  keep  at  a  distance,  as  much  to  sharpen 
our  desire,  as  to  make  trial  of  our  patience ;  and,  therefore,  you 
need  not  reckon  that  hitherto  your  prayers  to  him  have  been 
in  vain,  but  much  rather  take  encouragement,  and  strive 
even  more  and  more,  knowing  that  if  perseverance  be  required 
throughout  our  whole  life,  it  is  specially  desired  in  prayer. 
And,  besides,  you  must  also  take  care  in  real  earnest  to  fan 
the  flame  which  God  has  already  begun  to  kindle  within  you; 
for  all  the  gracious  affections  he  breathes  into  us,  are  just  so 
many  sparks  which  we  must  not  extinguish,  or  allow  to  go  out 
by  our  heedlessness.  Since,  then,  God  has  already  opened  your 
eyes  so  far,  that  you  admit  we  ought  to  be  his  peculiar 
ones,  and  dedicated  to  him  in  righteousness,  so  as  to  glorify 
him  as  well  in  our  bodies  as  in  our  souls ;  seeing  also  that  he 
has  touched  your  heart,  so  that  you  have  some  feeling  of  our 
unhappiness  in  alienation  from  him,  unquestionably  you  must 
not  now  go  to  sleep  or  trifle  away  at  your  ease,  but  even  as  we 
stir  fire  when  it  does  not  burn  as  it  ought  to  do,  it  is  quite 
right  that  you  be  upstirred  yet  more  and  more,  until  the  long- 
ing desire  to  devote  yourself  wholly  to  him  and  to  his  right- 
eousness, overcomes  all  hindrances  either  from  the  flesh  or 
from  the  world.  I  see,  or  at  least  take  into  view,  the  very 
great  difficulties  you  have  where  you  are ;  but  since  these  con- 
siderations do  not  excuse  you  in  the  sight  of  God,  when  the 
question  is  of  obedience  to  his  word,  and  also  in  a  thing  of 
so  great  importance  as  the  rendering  unto  him  the  glory  which 
is  due,  and  the  making  confession  of  your  Christianity, — if  I 
desire  your  salvation  as  I  ought,  as  God  is  my  witness  that  I 
do,  it  is  my  duty  to  awaken  you,  so  far  as  I  possibly  can,  not 
that  I  can  teach  you  any  new  thing,  but  that  on  my  part  I 
may  assist  you  in  making  a  right  use  of  that  knowledge  which 
God  has  vouchsafed  you;  to  wit,  how  reasonable  it  is  that  his 
honour  be  preferred  to  our  life,  and  also  that  we  endeavour  to 
put  away  all  those  subterfuges,  which  our  flesh  suggests  to  us, 


1549.]  MADEMOISELLE   DE   .   .   .   .  207 

for  turning  aside  from  the  path  which  he  points  out.  That 
we  may  do  so,  we  must  learn  a  habit  of  forgetting  ourselves, 
for  the  allurements  of  the  world  are  no  less  dangerous  than 
open  war.  The  most  humble  have  their  share.  You,  on  the 
other  hand,  owing  to  the  high  condition  wherein  God  has  set 
you,  have  a  larger  portion.  But  you  must  consider  that  this 
is  a  discipline  God  sends  you,  in  order  that  you  may  all  the 
better  manifest  the  strength  and  vigour  of  the  savour  of  our 
heavenly  life,  when  you  shall  have  surmounted  those  great 
obstacles,  following  out  in  spite  of  them  your  heavenly  call- 
ing. However,  Mademoiselle,  when  you  feel  your  own  in- 
firmity so  great,  that  in  the  midst  of  dangers  you  are  unable 
to  give  glory  to  God,  do  not  neglect  the  remedy,  which  is  to 
betake  yourself  to  the  cross,  where  you  may  be  joined  to  the 
flock,  and  hear  the  voice  of  the  Shepherd;  whatever  may 
happen,  shun  to  be  as  a  sheep  straying  in  the  wilderness. 
When  you  are  in  such  a  disposition,  there  is  no  doubt  that 
God  will  have  compassion  upon  you,  that  himself  will  pro- 
vide when  you  shall  see  no  means  of  doing  so ;  for  it  is  thus 
that  he  withdraws  his  own  not  only  from  the  mouths  of  wolves, 
but  from  the  very  depths  of  hell. 

I  have  received  the  ten  crowns  which  you  have  sent  for  the 
support  of  the  poor  believers  who  have  need  of  it.'  I  have  in- 
trusted them  to  a  discreet  hand,  to  make  distribution  accord- 
ing to  your  intention.  May  the  Lord  vouchsafe  acceptance 
of  this  alms  at  your  hands,  as  a  sacrifice  of  a  sweet  savour,  and 
cause  you  one  day  to  rejoice  in  the  spiritual  benefits  which  he 
has  imparted  to  those  you  are  thus  helping  in  their  earthly 
poverty. 

And  now.  Mademoiselle,  having  commended  me  humbly  to 
your  kind  favour,  with  prayer  to  our  good  Lord  to  uphold 
you  in  his  protection,  to  govern  you  always  by  his  Spirit,  and 
to  assist  you  in  every  way  and  evermore,  I  shall  conclude  for 

'  The  donations  which  a  pious  liberality  daily  multiplied  at  Geneva,  gave  rise  to  the 
foundations  known  by  the  name  of  French,  German,  and  Italian  Bourses.  The  names 
of  Margaret  do  Valois,  and  the  Duchess  of  Ferrara,  shine  in  the  first  rank  upon  the 
list  of  foreign  contributors. — Bolsec,  Life  of  Calvin,  c.  xi. 


208  THE   MINISTEES   OF   MONTBELIARD.  [1549. 

the  present.     Mj  wife  also  desires  to  be  humbly  commended 
to  your  kind  favour. 

Your  servant  and  humble  brother, 

Charles  D'Espeville. 

[Fr.  copy. — Library  of  Geneva.     Vol.  108.] 


CCXXXIV. — To  the  Ministers  of  the  Church  of 

MONTBELIARD.^ 
Exhortations  to  discharge  to  the  end  their  ministerial  duties. 

[Geneva,  16th  January  1549.] 

Grace  to  you,  and  peace,  from  God  our  Father  and  from  the 
Lord  Jesus  Christ. — Very  dear  brethren,  deserving  of  my 
hearty  reverence,  what  we  so  long  feared  has  at  length  come  to 
pass,  for  Satan  has,  by  the  aid  of  his  ministers,  overturned 
among  you  also  the  order  of  the  Church  as  established  by  God. 
Yet  your  letter  was  consolatory — so  far  as  there  could  be  any 
consolation  in  so  very  sad  a  state  of  things — for  we  learned 
from  it  that  you  were  all  faithful  to  the  last  in  the  discharge 
of  your  duty.  In  denouncing,  as  you  say  you  did,  those  sedu- 
cers who  were  making  themselves  busy  in  defiling  the  purity  of 
sound  doctrine,  you  acted  with  a  decision  worthy  of  the  minis- 
ters of  Christ.  You  now  give  a  bright  example  of  the  sincerity 
of  your  faith,  in  preferring  even  exile  to  perfidious  dissimula- 
tion. For  when  he  who  had  hitherto  given  a  hospitable  recep- 
tion within  his  dominions  to  the  Church  of  Christ,  and  had 
granted  you  full  permission  to  preach  Christ,  now  deprives  you 

'  To  the  Faithful  Servants  of  Christ,  the  Ministers  of  the  Church  of  Montheliard, 
dearest  Brethren  and  Fellow-Ministers. 

George  of  Wurtemberg,  Count  of  Montheliard,  having  fallen  under  the  disgrace  of 
the  Emperor,  at  the  end  of  the  war  of  Smalkald,  in  which  he  had  taken  part  in  the 
ranks  of  the  Protestant  princes,  was  stript  of  his  Principality  in  1548,  and  withdrew 
to  the  Canton  of  Berne. — Ruchat,  vol.  v.  p.  368.  At  the  termination  of  that  revolu- 
tion, the  Churches  of  the  Pays  de  Montheliard  were  dispersed,  and  their  ministers, 
amon"'  whom  was  to  bo  remarked  Pierre  Toussain,  were  banished,  and  sought  an 
asylum  in  the  different  Reformed  Cantons  of  Switzerland,  until  the  period  of  the 
restoration,  both  political  and  religious,  that  replaced  them  some  years  afterwards  in 
their  native  country. 


1549.]  THE   MINISTERS   OF   MONTBELIARD.  209 

of  the  office  of  teachers,  there  is  no  use  in  pusliing  the  matter 
farther,  as  we  tliink,  especially  when  there  is  no  hope  of  making 
progress,  and  when  the  sheep,  over  which  Christ  had  made  you 
pastors,  no  longer  desire  your  services.  As  he  is  a  traitor  who 
voluntarily  yields  up  and  deserts  his  post,  so  it  is  our  duty, 
when  forced,  not  to  offer  resistance,  unless  perhaps  we  should  be 
expressly  called  upon  by  the  Church  to  undergo  the  extremity; 
for  it  is  a  hundred  times  better  to  die,  than  for  those  who  were 
prepared  to followChristtomakevain their  vows.  But  yourcase 
is  far  different;  for  so  long  as  you  were  pastors,  you  were  faith- 
ful and  assiduous  in  your  attention  to  your  flocks.  Now  when 
there  .is  no  use  in  desiring  to  persevere,  and  when  the  sheep 
themselves,  to  whom  your  faith  was  pledged,  do  not  consider  it 
profitable  for  you  to  proceed  farther,  you  are  certainly  free  from 
all  further  obligation.  It  remains,  therefore,  for  you  to  commend 
to  Christ  the  charges  committed  to  you,  that  he  alone  by  his 
Spirit  may  give  guidance  when  you  have  no  longer  any  oppor- 
tunity of  carrying  on  your  labours.  Henceforward  we  may 
imagine  what  your  sorrow  must  be,  seeing  that  nothing  presents 
itself  to  you  but  exile  and  poverty.  But  your  greatest  affliction 
will  be  caused  by  the  misery  of  the  Church,  for  whose  interests 
you  have  evinced  greater  regard  than  for  your  own.  And  we 
indeed  are  equally  affected — as  we  ought  to  be — by  your  public 
and  private  misfortunes.  Would  that  we  could  extend  a  help- 
ing hand  to  you!  For  the  rest,  we  exhort  you  to  hold  on  to 
the  end  in  this  your  testimony  of  Christian  sincerity.  Your 
lot,  however  hard,  will  be  more  blessed  than  if  you  maintained 
a  name  and  a  place  where  the  Son  of  God  was  exiled.  Yet  we 
shall  soon  see  him  so  reigning  in  heaven,  as  to  make  his  power 
appear  also  on  the  earth.  Meanwhile,  it  becomes  us  to  be 
ready  for  the  warfare,  since  it  is  not  yet  the  hour  of  triumph. 
Adieu,  best  and  most  upright  brethren.  May  the  Lord  Jesus 
Christ  be  with  you,  may  he  comfort  and  support  you  in  your 
devoted  steadfastness. 

Your   brethren   truly  in    the   Lord,  the   Ministers  of  the 
Church  of  Geneva. — In  the  name  of  all, 

John  Calvin. 

[Calvin's  Lat.  Correxp. — Opera,  torn.  ix.  p.  50.] 
27 


210  BULLINGER.  [1549. 

CCXXXV.— To  Henry  Bullinger.' 

Hope  of  union  with  the  theologians  of  Zurich — dedication  of  several  writings. 

G:EirEVA,  21st  January  1549. 

I  at  length  received  your  former  letter,  which  I  thought  had 
been  destroyed,  three  days  before  the  latter  of  the  two  reached 
me.  For  when  the  person  who  married  the  other  sister^  sought 
Hooper's^  letter  from  his  companion,  observing  another  small 
packet,  he  immediately  laid  hands  on  it.  His  companion, 
either  from  modesty,  or  from  some  cause  I  know  not  what,  did 
not  dare  to  take  it  from  him.  I  have  read  your  annotations, 
from  which  I  have  discovered  what  you  regard  as  wanting  in 
my  method  of  treating  the  subject.  I  have  endeavoured 
briefly  to  satisfy  you,  because  the  matter  itself  did  not  demand 
a  long  discourse.  I  shall  know  how  far  I  have  succeeded  in 
this,  when  I  have  received  your  reply.  I  may  at  least  on  good 
grounds  wish  to  obtain  this  of  you,  viz.,  that  you  will  not 
allow  yourself  to  become  entangled  in  baseless  suspicions.  For 
I  observe  that,  owing  to  this  cause,  you  are  perplexed  in  regard 
to  many  points  which  present  difficulty,  simply  because  you 
put  upon  the  majority  of  my  statements  a  different  construc- 
tion from  what  you  have  any  ground  for  doing.     A  pre-con- 

'  The  year  1549  is  remarkable  for  the  tendencies  to  union  manifested  by  many  of 
the  Swiss  Churches,  and  for  their  happy  issue  !  Several  persons,  says  Ruchat,  zealous 
for  religion,  imagined  that  the  clergy  of  Zurich  and  Geneva  did  not  hold  the  same 
doctrine  on  the  Supper,  on  the  ground  of  some  slight  difference  in  the  expressions 
they  made  use  of;  and  this  divergence  caused  them  pain.  Accordingly,  as  they  held 
Bullinger  and  Calvin  in  great  esteem,  and  desired  to  be  able  to  profit  equally  by 
writings  published  by  theologians  of  both  churches,  they  deemed  it  necessary  to  in- 
stitute conferences  with  a  view  to  union  ;  and  Calvin,  ever  full  of  zeal  for  the  interests 
of  the  Church,  did  not  hesitate  to  subscribe- to  this  petition. — Hoapinien,  torn.  ii.  p. 
367 ;  Ruchat,  tom.  v.  p.  369. 

*  Valeran  Poulain,  brother-in-law  of  Hooper,  whose  sister  he  espoused  at  Zurich. 
He  became  this  same  year  minister  of  the  congregation  cf  Foreign  Protestants  at 
Glastonbury,  near  London.  AVe  shall  find  him  afterwards  minister  of  the  Church  of 
Frankfort. 

3  John  Hooper,  formerly  chaplain  to  the  Duke  of  Somerset,  withdrew  to  Zurich 
during  the  latter  years  of  the  reign  of  Henry  VIII.  He  was  at  this  time  disposed  to 
return  to  England. 


1549.]  BULLINGEE.  211 

ceived  opinion  regarding  me  leads  you  to  imagine  and  attribute 
to  me  what  never  occurred  to  my  mind.  Besides,  while  you  are 
concerned  to  maintain  your  own  opinions,  whatever  they  may  be, 
to  the  very  last,  you  sometimes  consider  more  what  is  in  har- 
mony with  them,  than  what  is  the  truth  on  the  subject.  If 
simplicity  pleases  you,  I  certainly  take  no  delight  in  disguise 
and  circumlocution.  If  you  love  a  free  declaration  of  the 
truth,  I  never  had  any  mind  to  bend  what  I  wrote,  so  as  to  re- 
ceive its  acceptance  with  men.  If  there  be  any  who  have  flat- 
tered Luther  and  others,  I  am  not  of  that  number.  Our  most 
excellent  Musculus  knows,  that  even  when  wise  men  were  in 
fear,  I  was  always  free  [from  apprehensions].  But  had  it  not 
been  for  the  obstacle  of  an  unprofitable  distrust,  there  would 
by  this  time  have  been  no  controversy  between  us,  or  none  to 
speak  of.  Although,  however,  I  differ  from  you  in  opinion, 
that  does  not  imply  the  least  severance  of  affection ;  just  as  I 
cultivate  the  friendship  of  Bucer,  and  yet  am  free  to  dissent 
occasionally  from  his  views.  You  are  accordingly  too  severe 
in  saying  in  your  letter  that  the  matter  can  only  go  well,  pro- 
vided you  understand  that  you  are  not  regarded  as  our  enemies. 
On  what  grounds  you  form  that  surmise,  I  know  not.  This 
indeed  I  know,  that  I  both  think  and  speak  of  you  in  a  friendly 
spirit.  This,  moreover,  is  known  to  very  many  who  have  heard 
me  speak.  It  may  indeed  be  that  I  have  found  fault  with  you 
in  private  letters  to  my  friends,  or  that  I  have  not  concealed 
my  conviction,  that  what  they  censured  was  deserving  of  re- 
prehension. There  was  always,  however,  such  an  admixture  of 
praise,  as  qualified  any  bitterness,  and  afforded  proof  of  good 
intentions.  Others  may  form  what  opinion  they  choose,  but  I 
shall  never  have  to  repent  of  lack  of  integrity  on  my  part.  If 
Master  Blaurer'  shall  undertake  Provence,  which  is  offered  to 
him,  and  Musculus  accept  the  Professorship  of  Theology,  I 
shall  not  only  congratulate  the  Church  of  Berne,  but  hope  that 
this  will  prove  a  bond  of  closer  relationship  between  us,  I  beg 
you  will  inform  me  of  your  affairs,  whenever  an  opportunity 
occurs.     You  would  have  had  my  Commentaries  on  the  Five 

'  Ambroise  Blaurer,  formerly  minister  of  the  Reformed  Church  of  Constance,  at  this 
time  minister  of  the  Church  of  Bienne. 


212  BUCEE.  [1549. 

Epistles  of  Paul  before  this  time,  bad  I  not  thought  that  they 
were  for  sale  with  you.  As  messengers  rarely  go  and  come 
between  this  and  your  quarter,  I  was  afraid  that  the  carriage 
would  cost  more  than  the  purchase  of  them.  I  now  send  you 
the  Commentaries  on  the  Second  Epistle  to  the  Corinthians, 
and  the  four  [Epistles]  immediately  following.  I  have  yet 
published  nothing  on  the  Epistle  to  Titus,  and  the  two  Epistles 
to  the  Thessalonians.  I  also  send  my  reply,  which  is  highly 
approved  of  by  Brentius,  whose  opinion  I  do  not  mention 
to  you  in  the  way  of  boasting,  but  that  you  may  therefrom 
form  a  conjecture  as  to  how  much  more  moderate  he  is  in  his 
doctrine  of  the  Sacraments  than  he  formerly  was.  Adieu,  most 
illustrious  sir,  and  dearest  brother  in  the  Lord.  May  the  Lord 
Jesus  always  guide  you  and  your  colleagues,  all  of  whom  you 
will  salute  respectfully  in  my  name.  Ours  in  turn  desire  best 
greetings  to  you,  of  whom  Des  Gallars  presents  for  your  accept- 
ance a  small  treatise  he  has  composed.  The  best  greeting  to 
Master  Musculus,  and  other  pious  brethren. — Yours, 

JoHisr  Calvin. 

\Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Arcliives  of  Zurich.    Gest.  VI.  166,  p.  19.] 


CCXXXYL— To  BucER.1 

Consolationa  lo  be  found  in  the  study  of  divine  and  everlasting  truth. 

[February  1549.] 

As  truth  is  most  precious,  so  all  men  confess  it  to  be  so. 
And  yet,  since  God  alone  is  the  source  of  all  good,  you  must 
not  doubt,  that  whatever  truth  you  anywhere  meet  with,  pro- 

'  This  undated  fragment  should,  we  think,  be  referred  to  the  month  of  February 
1549;  that  is,  to  the  period  at  which  Bucer,  compelled  to  leave  Strasbourg,  by  the 
establishment  of  the  Interim  in  that  town,  was  making  preparations  for  his  departure 
for  England.  In  one  of  his  letters  to  Calvin  we  discover  the  following  passage : — 
"We  are  only  hindered  by  the  tears  and  sighs  of  the  pious — of  whom  there  are  still  a 
great  many  here — from  leaving  this  place  before  we  get  orders.  For,  if  the  Lord  will, 
we  wish  rather  to  seal  than  to  break  up  our  ministry.  You  see  how  our  affairs  stand, 
and  how  much  we  need  the  assistance  of  your  prayers,  both  in  our  own  behalf  and  on 
that  of  this  very  unfortunate  Church." — Galv.  Opera,  b.  ix.  p.  233. 

Sadly  disappointed  in  the  dream  of  his  whole  life — the  union  of  the  Reformed 


1549.]  BUCER.  213 

ceeds  from  him,  unless  you  would  be  doubly  ungrateful  to 
him;  it  is  in  tliis  way  you  have  received  the  word  descended 
from  heaven.  For  it  is  sinful  to  treat  God's  gifts  with  con- 
tempt ;  and  to  ascribe  to  man  what  is  peculiarly  God's  is  a 
still  greater  impiety.  Philosophy  is,  consequently,  the  noble 
gift  of  God,  and  those  learned  men  who  have  striven  hard  after 
it  in  all  ages  have  been  incited  thereto  by  God  himself,  that 
they  might  enlighten  the  world  in  the  knowledge  of  the  truth. 
But  there  is  a  wide  difference  between  the  writings  of  these 
men  and  those  truths  which  God,  of  his  own  pleasure,  delivered 
to  guilty  men  for  their  sanctification.  In  the  former,  you  may 
fall  in  with  a  small  particle  of  truth,  of  which  you  can  get  only 
a  taste,  sufficient  to  make  you  feel  how  pleasant  and  sweet  it 
is  ;  but  in  the  latter,  you  may  obtain  in  rich  abundance  that 
which  can  refresh  the  soul  to  the  full.  In  the  one,  a  shadow 
and  an  image  is  placed  before  the  eyes  which  can  only  excite 
in  you  a  love  of  the  object,  without  admitting  you  to  familiar 
intercourse  with  it ;  in  the  other,  the  solid  substance  stands 
before  you,  with  which  you  may  not  only  become  intimately 
acquainted,  but  may  also,  in  some  measure,  handle  it.  In 
that,  the  seed  is  in  a  manner  choked ;  in  this,  you  may  possess 
the  fruit  in  its  very  maturity.  There,  in  short,  only  a  few 
small  sparks  break  forth,  which  so  point  out  the  path  that  they 
fail  in  the  middle  of  the  journey, — or  rather,  which  fail  in  in- 
dicating the  path  at  all, — and  can  only  restrain  the  traveller 
from  going  farther  astray ;  but  here,  the  Spirit  of  God,  like  a 
most  brilliant  torch,  or  rather  like  the  sun  itself,  shines  in  full 
splendour,  not  only  to  guide  the  course  of  your  life,  even  to 
its  final  goal,  but  also  to  conduct  you  to  a  blessed  immortality. 
Draw  then  from  this  source,  wherever  you  may  wander,  and 
as  soon  as  he  finds  you  a  settled  abode,  you  ought  to  make 
that  your  place  of  rest.     .     .     . 

[Calvin's  Lat.  Corrcsp.    Opera,  torn.  ix.  p.  50.] 

Churches  of  Germany  and  Switzerland — forgotten  by  parties  who  could  not  forgive 
his  moderation  in  an  age  of  hatred  and  intolerance,  Bucer  carried  with  him  into  exile 
the  respect  and  affection  of  Calvin,  who  in  a  letter,  of  which  we  have  here  only  a 
mere  fragment,  addressed  to  him  the  highest  consolations  of  Christian  philosophy. 


214  THE   PASTORS   OF   THE   CHURCH   OF   BERNE.        [1549. 


CCXXXVn. — To  THE  Pastors  of  the  Church  of  Berne.' 

Desire  of  union  between  the  Churches  of  Berne  and  Geneva. 

Geneta,  13th  March  1549. 

Seeing  that  we  have,  unsolicited,  offered  you  a  reading  of  our 
views  on  the  sacraments,  it  seems  desirable  to  furnish  you, 
briefly,  with  some  reason  for  our  resolution  in  this  matter ; 
although,  indeed,  no  lengthened  introduction  is  needed  in 
dealing  with  us  in  so  just  a  cause.  When  your  illustrious 
senate  has  publicly  called  upon  you  to  deliberate,  among  other 
matters,  regarding  the  peace  of  the  Church,  of  which  the  pe- 
culiar bond  is  harmony  in  purity  of  doctrine,  it  is  probable 
there  will  be  some  discussion  regarding  the  sacraments,  as  that 
subject  has  for  a  long  time  occupied  the  attention  of  the 
Bernese  Church.  And  while  we  are  not  required  to  make  any 
exposition  of  our  doctrine,  we  have,  nevertheless,  thought  it  our 
duty,  even  though  unasked,  to  take  part  with  you  in  bearing 
testimony  on  a  matter  in  which  we  have  all  been  completely 
unanimous.  For  since  we  both  preach  the  same  Christ,  both 
profess  the  same  gospel,  are  both  members  of  the  same  church, 
and  have  both  the  same  ministry,  there  ought  not  to  be  that 
diversity  of  authority  among  us  to  which  we  have  been  subject, 
either  to  break  up  the  unity  of  our  faith,  or  to  hinder  from 
flourishing  amongst  us  so  many  rights  of  holy  fellowship  con- 

'  While  Calvin  was  engaged  in  active  negotiations  with  the  ministers  of  Zurich 
fbr  the  adoption  of  a  common  formula  regarding  the  sacrament  of  the  Lord's 
Supper,  he  addressed  to  the  ministers  of  the  Church  of  Berne  a  statement  of  what  the 
Church  of  Geneva  held  on  that  important  question,  in  the  hope  of  leading  that  Church 
into  the  proposed  union.  But  the  Bernese  clergy,  placed  in  a  position  of  absolute 
dependence  on  the  seigneury,  could  not  adopt  any  formula  without  its  authority ;  and 
the  seigneurs,  jealous  of  their  influence,  regarded  with  a  distrustful  eye  any  commu- 
nication with  the  ministers  of  Geneva.  The  approaches  of  Calvin,  also,  were  not 
well  received,  and  the  noble  desire  of  the  Reformer  for  the  union  of  the  Helvetian 
churches,  realized  at  a  later  period  by  Bullinger,  met  with  no  response.^^ucAat,  tom, 
T.  pp.  578,  579. 


1519.]        THE  PASTORS   OF   THE   CnURCH   OF   BERNE.  215 

secrated  to  the  service  of  Christ.  That  proximity  of  residence, 
also,  which  is  so  influential  among  the  children  of  this  world, 
in  drawing  them  into  close  friendship,  ought  not,  at  least,  to  be 
less  powerful  among  us.  We  are,  in  reality,  so  commingled, 
that  even  the  situation  of  the  two  places  brings  us,  as  it  were, 
within  a  bond  of  mutual  union.  So  far  is  this  the  case,  that 
there  is  a  federal  union  between  the  two  cities.  Some  of  our 
ministers,  moreover,  supply  the  churches  of  the  Bernese  dis- 
trict, just  as  certain  of  your  body,  again,  have  some  of  the 
churches  of  Geneva  under  their  charge.  It  is,  consequently, 
to  a  great  extent,  as  much  your  interest  as  it  is  ours  to  become 
intimately  acquainted  with  those  doctrines  to  which  we  con- 
form. At  all  events,  in  this  way — passing  by  other  considera- 
tions— many  unfavourable  suspicions  will  be  counteracted, 
and  malicious  men  will  be  deprived  of  a  source  of  abuse.  We 
confidently  trust  that  our  wishes  will  be  agreeable,  not  only 
to  yourselves,  but  also  to  your  most  illustrious  senate.  It  only 
remains  that  you  receive  this  communication  calmly  and  with 
forbearance.  And  if  you  do  so,  as  there  is  the  highest  hope 
you  will,  it  will  not  be  found  to  contain  anything  which  you 
may  not  easily  comprehend.  Adieu,  dearly  beloved  and  estim- 
able brethren  and  fellow-ministers;  may  the  Lord  Jesus  long 
preserve,  by  his  strength,  the  Bernese  republic  in  a  most  pros- 
perous condition.  May  he  uphold  the  illustrious  senate,  under 
whose  auspices  ye  have  been  assembled.  May  he  direct  and 
bless  your  assembly,  and  guide  you  by  a  spirit  of  wise  zeal 
and  uprightness  to  promote  the  advancement  and  edification 
of  the  Church. 

Signed  in  the  name  of  all  your  brethren  and  fellow-minis- 
ters of  the  Church  of  Geneva, 

John  Calvin. 

Then  follows  an  exposition  of  the  sacraments,  corrected  by 
the  hand  of  Calvin. 

[Lat.  Copy.—ArcJdves  of  Zwich,  Gest,  VI.  105,  p.  390.] 


216  ViEET.  [1549. 


CCXXXVIII.— To  YiEET.' 

Death  of  Idelette  de  Bure,  the  wife  of  Calvin. 

April  7,  1549. 

Although  the  death  of  my  wife  has  been  exceedingly  painful 
to  me,  yet  I  subdue  my  grief  as  well  as  I  can.  Friends,  also, 
are  earnest  in  their  duty  to  me.  It  might  be  wished,  indeed, 
that  they  could  profit  me  and  themselves  more ;  yet  one  can 
scarcely  say  how  much  I  am  supported  by  their  attentions.  But 
you  know  well  enough  how  tender,  or  rather  soft,  my  mind  is. 
Had  not  a  powerful  self-control,  therefore,  been  vouchsafed  to 
me,  I  could  not  have  borne  up  so  long.  And  truly  mine  is  no 
common  source  of  grief.  I  have  been  bereaved  of  the  best 
companion  of  my  life,  of  one  who,  had  it  been  so  ordered, 
would  not  only  have  been  the  willing  sharer  of  my  indigence, 
but  even  of  my  death.  During  her  life  she  was  the  faithful 
helper  of  my  ministry.  From  her  I  never  experienced  the 
slightest  hindrance.  She  was  never  troublesome  to  me  through- 
out the  entire  course  of  her  illness;  she  was  more  anxious  about 
her  children  than  about  herself.'^     As  I  feared  these  private 

'  A  peculiar  interest  attaches  to  this  and  the  following  letter,  written  under  a  load 
of  great  domestic  affliction.  Early  in  April  1549,  Calvin  lost  the  worthy  partner  of 
his  life,  Idelette  de  Bure,  whose  frail  and  delicate  health  gave  way  under  the  pressure 
of  a  protracted  illness,  and  whose  last  hours  are  known  to  us  hy  the  touching  picture 
given  of  them  by  the  Eeformer.  The  consolations  of  friendship,  and  the  considera- 
tion of  the  important  duties  he  had  to  discharge,  supported  Calvin  in  this  affliction, 
and- the  self-control  which  he  manifested  during  the  first  days  of  his  bereavement, 
excited  the  admiration  of  his  friends.  Viret  wrote  him  on  this  occasion  as  follows  : 
"Wonderfully  and  incredibly  have  I  been  refreshed,  not  by  empty  rumours  alone,  but 
especially  by  numerous  messengers  who  have  informed  me  how  you,  with  a  heart  so 
broken  and  lacerated,  have  attended  to  all  your  duties  even  better  than  hitherto  .  .  . 
....  and  that,  above  all,  at  a  time  when  grief  so  fresh,  and  on  that  account  all  the 
more  severe,  might  have  prostrated  your  mind.  Go  on  then  as  you  have  begun  .... 
and  I  pray  God  most  earnestly  that  you  may  be  enabled  to  do  so,  and  that  you  may 
receive  daily  greater  comfort  and  be  strengthened  more  and  more." — Letter  of  10th 
April  1549.     Calv.  Opera,  torn.  ix.  p.  53. 

"  Idelette  de  Bure  had,  by  her  first  marriage  with  Jean  Storder,  several  children 
known  to  us  only  by  the  pious  solicitude  of  their  mother  on  her  deathbed. 


1549.]  FAREL.  217 

cares  might  annoy  her  to  no  purpose,  I  took  occasion,  on  the 
third  day  before  her  death,  to  mention  that  I  would  not  fail  in 
discharging  my  duty  to  her  children.  Taking  up  the  matter 
immediately,  she  said,  "I  have  already  committed  them  to 
God."  \yhen  I  said  that  that  was  not  to  prevent  me  from 
caring  for  them,  she  replied,  "I  know  you  will  not  neglect 
what  you  know  has  been  committed  to  God."  Lately,  also, 
when  a  certain  woman  insisted  that  she  should  talk  with  me 
regarding  these  matters,  1,  for  the  first  time,  heard  her  give  the 
following  brief  answer:  "Assuredly  the  principal  thing  is  that 
they  live  a  pious  and  holy  life.  My  husband  is  not  to  be  urged 
to  instruct  them  in  religious  knowledge  and  in  the  fear  of  God. 
If  they  be  pious,  I  am  sure  he  will  gladly  be  a  father  to  them; 
but  if  not,  they  do  not  deserve  that  I  should  ask  for  aught  in 
-their  behalf."  This  nobleness  of  mind  will  weigh  more  with 
me  than  a  hundred  recommendations.  Many  thanks  for  your 
friendly  consolation.  Adieu,  most  excellent  and  honest  bro- 
ther. May  the  Lord  Jesus  watch  over  and  direct  yourself  and 
your  wife.*  Present  my  best  wishes  to  her  and  to  the  brethren. 
— Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

^Calvin's  Lat.  Corresp. — Opera,  torn.  is.  p.  50.] 


CCXXXIX.— To  Farel. 

Further  details  reganling  the  death  of  Idelette  de  Bure. 

Geneva,  11th  April  1549. 

Intelligence  of  my  wife's  death  has  perhaps  reached  you 
before  now.  I  do  what  I  can  to  keep  myself  from  being  over- 
whelmed with  grief.  My  friends  also  leave  nothing  undone 
that  may  administer  relief  to  my  mental  suffering.  When  your 
brother  left,  her  life  was  all  but  despaired  of.     When  the 

"  We  read  in  Viret's  letter  to  Calvin  already  referred  to, — "  My  wife  salutes  you 
most  courteously;  she  has  been  grieved  in  no  ordinary  way  by  the  death  of  her  very 
dear  sister,  and  she  and  I  feel  it  to  be  a  loss  to  us  all."  Idelette  do  Bure  kept  up 
with  Viret's  wife  a  pious  epistolary  correspondence,  which  has  unfortunately  not  been 
preserved. 
28 


218  FAREL.  [1549. 

brethren  were  assembled  on  Tuesday,  they  thought  it  best  that 
we  should  join  together  in  prayer.  This  was  done.  When 
Abel,  in  the  name  of  the  rest,  exhorted  her  to  faith  and  patience, 
she  briefly  (for  she  was  now  greatly  worn)  stated  her  frame  of 
mind.  I  afterwards  added  an  exhortation,  which  seemed  to  me 
appropriate  to  the  occasion.  And  then,  as  she  had  made  no 
allusion  to  her  children,  I,  fearing  that,  restrained  by  modesty, 
she  might  be  feeling  an  anxiety  concerning  them,  which  would 
cause  her  greater  suffering  than  the  disease  itself,  declared  in 
the  presence  of  the  brethren,  that  I  should  heuceforth  care  for 
them  as  if  they  were  my  own.  She  replied,  "I  have  already  com- 
mitted them  to  the  Lord."  When  I  replied,  that  that  was  not 
to  hinder  me  from  doing  my  duty,  she  immediately  answered, 
"If  the  Lord  shall  care  for  them,  I  know  they  will  be  com- 
mended to  you."  Her  magnanimity  was  so  great,  that  she 
seemed  to  have  already  left  the  world.  About  the  sixth  hour 
of  the  day,  on  which  she  yielded  up  her  soul  to  the  Lord,  our 
brother  Bourgouin^  addressed  some  pious  words  to  her,  and 
while  he  was  doing  so,  she  spoke  aloud,  so  that  all  saw  that  her 
heart  was  raised  far  above  the  world.  For  these  were  her 
words:  "0  glorious  resurrection!  0  God  of  Abraham,  and  of 
all  our  fathers,  in  thee  have  the  faithful  trusted  during  so 
many  past  ages,  and  none  of  them  have  trusted  in  vain.  I  also 
will  hope."  These  short  sentences  were  rather  ejaculated  than 
distinctly  spoken.  This  did  not  come  from  the  suggestion  of 
others,  but  from  her  own  reflections,  so  that  she  made  it  obvious 
in  few  words  what  were  her  own  meditations.  I  had  to  go  out 
at  six  o'clock.  Having  been  removed  to  another  apartment 
after  seven,  she  immediately  began  to  decline.  When  she  felt 
her  voice  suddenly  failing  her,  she  said:  "Let  us  pray:  let  us 
pray.  All  pray  for  me."  I  had  now  returned.  She  was  unable 
to  speak,  and  her  mind  seemed  to  be  troubled.  I,  having 
spoken  a  few  words  about  the  love  of  Christ,  the  hope  of 
eternal  life,  concerning  our  married  life,  and  her  departure, 
engaged  in  prayer.  In  full  possession  of  her  mind,  she  both 
heard  the  prayer,  and  attended  to  it.  Before  eight  she  expired, 
so  calmly,  that  those  present  could  scarcely  distinguish  between 

'  The  minister  Francis  Bourgouin. 


1549.]  MADAME   DE   CANY.  219 

her  life  and  her  death.  I  at  present  control  my  sorrow  so  that 
my  duties  may  not  be  interfered  with.  But  in  the  mean  while 
the  Lord  has  sent  other  trials  upon  me.  Adieu,  brother,  and 
very  excellent  friend.  May  the  Lord  Jesus  strengthen  you  by 
his  Spirit ;  and  may  he  support  me  also  under  this  heavy 
affliction,  which  would  certainly  have  overcome  me,  had  not 
he,  who  raises  up  the  prostrate,  strengthens  the  weak,  and  re- 
freshes the  weary,  stretched  forth  his  hand  from  heaven  to  me. 
Salute  all  the  brethren  and  your  whole  family. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Calvin's  Lat.  Corresp.    Opera,  torn.  ix.  p.  50-1 


CCXL. — To  Madame  de  Cany.^ 

Account  of  the  instructive  death  of  Madame  Laurent  de  Normandie. 

TTiia  29th  of  April  lbi9. 

Madame, — Although  the  news  which  I  communicate  is 
sad,  and  must  also  sadden  the  person  to  whom  I  beg  you  to 
impart  it,  nevertheless  I  hope  that  my  letter  will  not  be  un- 
welcome to  you.  It  has  pleased  my  God  to  withdraw  from 
this  world  the  wife  of  my  kind  brother,  M.  de  Normandie.* 
Our  consolation  is,  that  he  has  gathered  her  unto  himself; 
for  he  has  guided  her  even  to  the  last  sigh,  as  if  visibly  he 
had  held  out  the  hand  to  her.  Now,  forasmuch  as  her  father 
must  needs  be  informed,'  we  have  thought  there  was  no  way 

'  See  the  letter  and  the  note  at  p.  201. 

'  Laurent  de  Normandie,  sprung  from  a  noble  family  of  Picardy,  fellow-countryman 
and  friend  of  Calvin,  discharged  the  functions  of  master  of  requests  and  of  lieutenant 
of  the  King  at  Noyon,  before  retiring  to  Geneva.  Received  inhabitant  of  the  town, 
the  2d  May  1547,  burgess,  the  25th  April  1555,  he  lived  there  in  intimacy  with  Cal- 
vin, who  dedicated  to  him  in  1550  his  Traiti  des  Scaiidales.  He  had  married  for  his 
first  wife  Anne  de  la  Vacquerie,  of  a  noble  family,  which  has  merged  in  that  of  the 
Dukes  of  Saint  Simon,  and  illustrious  under  the  reign  of  Louis  XL,  by  the  first  pre- 
sident Jacques  de  la  Vacquerie.  A  short  time  after  his  arrival  at  Geneva  he  lost  his 
wife,  whose  edifying  death  is  the  subject  of  Calvin's  letter  to  Madame  do  Cany,  and 
he  married  a  second  time  (14th  September  1550)  Anne  CoUadon. — Galiffe,  Notices 
Gini'dlorjiquea  stir  lea  Families  de  Geneve,  torn.  ii.  p.  527. 

'  Eloi  de  la  Vacquerie. 


220  MADAME    DE   CANY.  [1549. 

more  suitable  than  to  request  that  you  would  please  take  the 
trouble  to  request  him  to  call  on  you,  that  the  painful  intelli- 
gence may  be  broken  to  him  by  your  communication  of  it. 
What  the  gentleman  has  written  to  us  who  lately  presented 
our  letter  to  you,  has  emboldened  us  to  take  this  step,  viz., 
that  you  had  introduced  the  good  man  in  question  to  the  right 
way  of  salvation,  and  that  you  had  given  him  understanding  of 
the  pure  and  sound  doctrine  which  we  must  maintain.  We  do 
not  doubt,  therefore,  that  you  are  willing  to  continue  your  good 
offices,  and  that  even  in  this  present  need.  For  we  cannot 
employ  ourselves  better,  than  in  carrying  this  message  in  the 
name  of  God,  to  comfort  him  to  whom  you  have  already  done 
so  much  good,  that  he  may  not  be  beyond  measure  disconsolate. 
Therefore,  Madame,  I  leave  you  to  set  before  him  the  argu- 
ments and  reasons  which  you  know  to  be  suitable  for  exhort- 
ing to  submission.  Only  I  shall  shortly  relate  to  you  the  his- 
tory, which  will  furnish  you  with  ample  matter  for  showing 
him  that  he  has  reason  to  be  thankful.  And,  according  to  the 
grace  and  wisdom  that  God  has  given  you,  you  will  draw 
thence  for  his  comfort  as  opportunity  shall  require. 

Having  heard  of  the  illness  of  the  good  woman,  we  were 
amazed  how  she  could  have  been  able  to  bear  so  well  the 
fatigue  of  the  journey,  for  she  arrived  quite  fresh,  and  without 
showing  any  sign  of  weariness.  Indeed  she  acknowledged  that 
God  had  singularly  supported  her  during  that  time.  Weak  as 
she  was,  she  kept  well  enough  until  a  little  before  Christmas. 
The  eager  desire  which  she  had  to  hear  the  word  of  God, 
upheld  her  until  the  month  of  January.  She  then  began  to 
take  to  bed,  not  because  the  complaint  was  as  yet  thought 
to  be  mortal,  but  to  prevent  the  danger  which  might  arise. 
Although  expecting  a  favourable  termination,  and  hoping  to 
recover  her  health,  she  nevertheless  prepared  for  death,  saying 
often,  that  if  this  was  not  the  finishing  blow,  it  could  not  be 
long  delayed.  As  for  remedies,  all  was  done  that  could  be. 
And  if  her  bodily  comfort  was  provided  for,  that  which  she 
prized  most  highly  was  nowise  wanting,  to  wit,  pious  admoni- 
tions to  confirm  her  in  the  fear  of  God,  in  the  faith  of  Jesus 
Christ,  in  patience,  in  the  hope  of  salvation.     On  her  part  she 


1549.]  MADAME   DE   CANY.  221 

always  gave  clear  evidence  that  the  labour  was  not  in  vain,  for 
in  her  discourse  you  could  see  that  she  had  the  whole  deeply  im- 
printed upon  her  heart.  In  short,  throughout  the  course  of  her 
sickness,  she  proved  herself  to  be  a  true  sheep  of  our  Lord  Jesus, 
letting  herself  be  quietly  led  by  the  Great  Shepherd.  Two  or 
three  days  before  death,  as  her  heart  was  more  raised  to  God, 
she  also  spoke  with  more  earnest  affection  than  ever.  Even 
the  day  before,  while  she  was  exhorting  her  people,  she  said  to 
her  attendant,  that  he  must  take  good  heed  never  to  return 
thither  where  he  had  polluted  himself  with  idolatry  ;  and  that 
since  God  had  led  him  to  a  Christian  Church,  he  should  be 
careful  to  live  therein  a  holy  life.  The  night  following,  she 
was  oppressed  with  great  and  continued  pain.  Yet  never  did 
one  hear  any  other  cry  from  her,  than  the  prayer  to  God  that 
he  would  have  pity  upon  her,  and  that  he  would  deliver  her 
out  of  the  world,  vouchsafing  grace  to  persevere  always  in  the 
faith  which  he  had  bestowed.  Toward  five  o'clock  in  the 
morning  I  went  to  her.  After  she  had  listened  very  patiently 
to  the  doctrine  which  I  set  before  her,  such  as  the  occasion 
called  for,  she  said:  "The  hour  draws  near,  I  must  needs  de- 
part from  the  world ;  this  flesh  asks  only  to  go  away  into  cor- 
ruption ;  but  I  feel  certain  that  my  God  is  withdrawing  my 
soul  into  his  kingdom.  I  know  what  a  poor  sinful  woman  I 
am,  but  my  confidence  is  in  his  goodness,  and  in  the  death 
and  passion  of  his  Son.  Therefore,  I  do  not  doubt  of  my 
salvation,  since  he  has  assured  me  of  it.  I  go  to  him  as 
to  a  Father."  While  she  was  thus  discoursing,  a  considerable 
number  of  persons  came  in.  I  threw  in  from  time  to  time 
some  words,  such  as  seemed  suitable;  and  we  also  made 
supplication  to  God  as  the  exigency  of  her  need  required. 
After  once  more  declaring  the  sense  she  had  of  her  sins, 
to  ask  the  pardon  of  them  from  God,  and  the  certainty 
which  she  entertained  of  her  salvation,  putting  her  sole  con- 
fidence in  Jesus,  and  having  her  whole  trust  in  him, — with- 
out being  invited  by  any  one  to  do  so,  she  began  to  pro- 
nounce the  Miserere  as  we  sing  it  in  church,  and  continued 
with  a  loud  and  strong  voice,  not  without  great  difficulty,  but 
she  entreated  that  we  would  allow  her  to  continue.     Where- 


222  MADAME   DE    CANY,  [1549. 

upon,  I  made  her  a  short  recapitulation  of  the  whole  argument 
of  the  psalm,  seeing  the  pleasure  she  took  in  it.  Afterwards, 
taking  me  by  the  hand,  she  said  to  me,  "How  happy  I  am,  and 
how  am  I  beholden  to  God,  for  having  brought  me  here  to  die! 
Had  I  been  in  that  wretched  prison,  I  could  not  have  ventured 
to  open  my  mouth  to  make  confession  of  my  Christianity.  Here 
I  have  not  only  liberty  to  glorify  God,  but  I  have  so  many 
sound  arguments  to  confirm  me  in  my  salvation."  Sometimes, 
indeed,  she  said,  "I  am  not  able  for  more,"  When  I  answered 
her,  "God  is  able  to  help  you  ;  he  has,  indeed,  shown  you  how 
he  is  a  present  aid  to  his  own ;"  she  said  immediately,  "  I  do 
believe  so,  and  he  makes  me  feel  his  help."  Her  husband  was 
there,  striving  to  keep  up  in  such  sort  that  we  were  all  sorry 
for  him,  while  he  made  us  wonder  in  amazement  at  his  forti- 
tude. For  while  possessed  with  such  grief  as  I  know  it  to  have 
been,  and  weighed  down  by  extremity  of  sorrow,  he  had  so  far 
gained  the  mastery  over  self,  as  to  exhort  his  better  part  as 
freely  as  if  they  were  going  to  make  a  most  joyful  journey 
together.  The  conversation  I  have  related  took  place  in  the 
midst  of  the  great  torment  she  endured  from  pains  in  her 
stomach.  Towards  nine  or  ten  o'clock  they  abated.  Availing 
herself  of  this  relaxation,  she  never  ceased  to  glorify  God,  hum- 
bly seeking  her  salvation  and  all  her  wellbeing  in  Jesus  Christ. 
When  speech  failed  her,  her  countenance  told  how  intently  she 
was  interested,  as  well  in  the  prayers  as  in  the  exhortations 
which  were  made.  Otherwise  she  was  so  motionless,  that  sight 
alone  gave  indication  of  life.  Towards  the  end,  considering 
that  she  was  gone,  I  said,  "Now  let  us  pray  God  that  he 
would  give  us  grace  to  follow  her."  As  I  rose,  she  turned 
her  eyes  upon  us,  as  if  charging  us  to  persevere  in  prayer  and 
consolation ;  after  that,  we  perceived  no  motion,  and  she  passed 
away  so  gracefully,  that  it  was  as  if  she  had  fallen  asleep. 

I  pray  you,  Madame,  to  excuse  me  if  I  have  been  too  tedious. 
But  I  thought  that  the  father  would  be  well  pleased  to  be 
fully  informed  of  the  whole,  as  if  he  himself  had  been  upon 
the  spot.  And  I  hope  that  in  so  good  a  work  you  will  find 
nothing  troublesome.  St,  Paul,  in  treating  of  charity,  does  not 
forget  that  we  ought  to  weep  with  those  who  weep ;  that  is  to 


1549.]  viRET.  223 

saj,  that  if  we  are  Christians,  we  ought  to  have  such  compas- 
sion and  sorrow  for  our  neighbours,  that  we  should  willingly 
take  part  in  their  tears,  and  thus  comfort  them.  It  cannot 
otherwise  be  but  the  good  man  must,  at  the  first,  be  wrung 
with  grief.  Ilowbeit  he  must  already  have  been  long  prepared 
to  receive  the  news,  considering  that  his  daughter's  sickness  had 
increased  so  much,  that  her  recovery  was  despaired  of.  But 
the  great  consolation  is,  the  example  which  she  has  afforded  to 
him  and  to  all  of  us,  of  bowing  to  the  will  of  God.  And  thus, 
seeing  that  she  has  presented  herself  so  peaceably  to  death,  let 
us  herein  follow  her,  willingly  complying  with  the  disposal  of 
God;  and  if  her  father  loved  her,  let  him  show  his  love  in  con- 
forming himself  to  the  desire  which  she  exhibited  of  submitting 
herself  to  God,  And  seeing  that  her  dismissal  has  been  so 
happy,  let  him  rejoice  in  the  grace  of  God  vouchsafed  to  her, 
which  far  surpasses  all  the  comforts  we  can  possess  in  this  world. 
In  conclusion,  Madame,  having  humbly  commended  me  to 
your  kind  favour,  I  beseech  our  good  Lord  to  be  always  your 
protector,  to  increase  you  with  all  spiritual  blessing,  and  to 
cause  you  to  glorify  his  name  even  to  the  end. 
Your  humble  servitor  and  brother, 

Charles  d'Espeville. 

[Fr.  Copy.— Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  107.] 


CCXLI.— To  ViRET. 

Various  particulars — recommendation  of  Francis  Hotman,  Jurisconsult. 

7th  May  1549. 

When  Ferron  was  deposed  he  said  you  would  write  on  his 
behalf.  I  have  not  received  anything  as  yet.  He  behaved  so 
insolently  in  our  assembly  that  he  very  much  resembled  a  man 
deprived  of  his  reason.'  The  Lord  will  direct  the  matter 
according  to  his  will;  we  have  resolved  on  acting  so  mode- 
rately as  to  show  him  that  he  has  to  do  with  men  and  with 

'Accused  of  having  wished  to  seduce  a  servant,  Ferron  was  deposed  from  the  min- 
istry on  the  5th  September  1548. — Regietera  of  the  Council. 


224  viRET.  [1549. 

servants  of  Christ.  Caesar  the  comedian  annoys  us  in  what- 
ever way  he  can.  Hitherto  it  has  so  turned  out  that  he  has 
gained  nothing  by  it  but  the  utmost  disgrace.  And  yet,  among 
his  own  party  he  gives  himself  all  the  airs  of  a  victor.^  Haller 
has  at  length  explained  what  he  would  desiderate  in  our  con- 
fession. This  consists  of  a  great  many  unimportant  and  trivial 
points.  I  shall  reply  to  him  as  soon  as  I  find  opportunity.  I 
did  not  send  you  the  letter  before  it  was  read  to  the  brethren. 
It  is  on  this  account  that  Hotman^  has  undertaken  this  journey 
to  you;  he  will  carry  it  more  safely  than  otherwise.  I  do  not 
think  it  proper,  nor  have  I  been  disposed,  to  inquire  more 
minutely  into  that  situation  to  which  he  aspires,  except  that 
he  has  resolved  to  dedicate  his  work  to  the  Lord  and  to  the 
Church.  I  especially  approve  of  this  resolution.  For  he  has 
strong  native  talent,  is  of  extensive  erudition,  and  is  possessed 
of  other  valuable  qualities.  However,  I  know  that  you  think 
so  highly  of  him  that  there  is  no  need  of  me  recommending 
him.  And,  as  you  are  of  opinion  that  his  work  would  be  use- 
ful, I  have  no  doubt  that  you  would  be  sufficiently  disposed  of 
yourself  to  aid  him.  I  was  unwilling,  however,  to  act  so,  that 
he  might  think  me  wanting  in  my  duty  to  him.  I  shall  only 
add,  that  he  should  understand  there  is  nothing  nearer  our 
hearts  than  that  he  should  devote  his  labour  to  the  Church. 

Adieu,  brother  and  most  sincere  friend.  May  the  Lord 
Jesus  preserve  yourself,  your  wife,  and  your  little  daughter, 
and  send  a  blessing  upon  your  sacred  labours.  Salute  all  re- 
spectfully in  my  name. — Yoi5rs, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  wig.  aiiiogr. — Libra7-y  of  Geneva.    Yol.  107.] 

'  In  a  letter  from  Calvin  to  Farel,  wrHten  on  the  same  day  as  that  to  Viret,  we  meet 
with  a  passage  regarding  Amy  Perrin  : — "  Ctesar,  our  comedian,  in  his  last  mission, 
exasperated  them  [the  Bernese]  exceedingly,  and  I  fear  he  has  commenced  a  serious 
tragedy  among  us." — MSS.  of  Geneva,  vol.  106.  Charged  with  a  mission  to  Berne, 
he  had  returned  to  Geneva  more  insolent  and  more  intractable  than  ever. 

"The  learned  lawyer,  Francis  Ilotman,  recently  engaged  in  the  evangelical  cause, 
had  quitted  France,  his  native  country,  at  the  advice  of  Calvin,  to  retire  to  Geneva. 
He  became,  during  the  same  year.  Professor  of  Law  at  the  Academy  of  Lausanne. — 
See  La  France  Proteatante,  Art.  Hotman. 


1549.]  BULLINGEE.  225 

CCXLII.— To  Henry  Bullinger.' 

Pleading  in  favour  of  the  alliance  of  the  Reformed  Cantons  with  France. 

7th  Hay  1549. 

As  time  does  not  permit  me  to  reply  to  your  letter  now,  I 
am  merely  desirous  of  telling  you  that  I  have  scarcely  ever  re- 
ceived anything more'pleasant  from  you,  as  it  served  to  alleviate 
a  very  trying  domestic  grief,  which,  occasioned  by  the  death  of 
my  wife  a  little  before,  was  causing  me  very  much  sorrow.  For 
I  am  very  glad  that  hardly  anything — or  at  least  very  little — 
hinders  us  from  agreeing  now  even  in  words.  And,  certainly 
if  you  think  you  can  so  arrange  matters,  I  make  no  objection 
against  endeavours  being  made  to  come  hither,  that  you  may 
the  better  become  acquainted  with  all  the  sentiments  of  my 
mind.  Nor  shall  it  ever  be  owing  to  me  that  we  do  not  unite 
in  a  solid  peace,  as  we  all  unanimously  profess  the  same 
Christ.  But  I  have,  at  present,  another  reason  for  writing 
you. 

You  partly  indicate  what  has  kept  you  back  from  joining  in 
the  French  alliance.  I  confess  the  godly  have  just  cause  of 
alarm  in  the  example  of  Jehoshaphat,  who  bound  himself  in  an 
unfortunate  alliance  with  a  wicked  king,  to  his  own  ruin  and 

'  The  new  King  of  France,  Henry  II.,  sought  an  alliance  with  the  Swiss  with 
extreme  eagerness.  His  envoys,  Boisrigault,  Liancourt,  Lavan,  and  Menage  over- 
ran the  Cantons,  scattering  everywhere  proofs  of  his  liberality,  to  obtain  a  renewal 
of  the  ancient  treaties.  Everywhere,  says  the  Swiss  historian,  their  proposals  wera 
welcomed,  except  at  Berne  and  at  Zurich.  In. the  latter  town,  Bullinger  rose  with 
great  energy  against  this  negotiating  with  a  man  who  was  converting  a  loyal  and 
Christian  people  into  a  nation  of  hired  murderers.  Ho  called  to  their  recollection 
the  persecutions  of  which  France  had  been  the  theatre,  and  adjured  his  fellow- 
citizens  to  avoid  all  terms  with  a  persecuting  monarch,  who  was  covered  with  tha 
blood  of  their  brethren.  Better  aware  than  Bullinger  of  the  dangers  which  tha 
supremacy  of  the  Emperor  was  spreading  over  the  various  states  of  Europe,  and 
over  the  Reformed  Churches  of  Germany  and  Switzerland,  and  hoping,  perhaps, 
to  obtain  by  a  treaty  some  relief  to  the  faithful  of  France,  Calvin  was  in  favour  of 
the  French  alliance,  and  in  this  remarkable  letter  attempted  to  vindicate  its  legiti- 
macy by  examples  borrowed  from  the  Old  Testament. — Histoire  de  la  SuUae,  torn, 
xi.  p.  306,  et  suiv. 

29 


226  BULLINGER.  [1549. 

that  of  his  kingdom.  Yet  I  do  not  so  understand  it,  that  he 
was  punished  because  he  made  a  league  with  the  King  of 
Israel,  but  rather  because  he  espoused  a  bad  and  impious  cause, 
in  order  to  gratify  that  king's  desire.  Ambition  was  inciting  him 
to  an  unprovoked  attack  upon  the  Syrians;  Jehoshaphat com- 
plied with  his  wishes  and  rashly  took  up  arms.  Add  to  this, 
that  they  went  forth  to  battle,  the  Lord  through  Micaiah  forbid- 
ding them.  This  example  does  not,  therefore,  so  weigh  with  me 
that  I  should  pronounce  all  alliance  whatever  with  the  wicked 
to  be  unlawful.  For  I  reflect  that  Abraham  was  not  hindered 
by  any  religious  scruples  from  making  a  covenant  with  Abi- 
melech.  Isaac,  David,  and  others  did  the  same,  and  received 
neither  reproof  nor  punishment.  I  can,  however,  so  far  con- 
clude, that  alliances  of  this  nature  are  not  to  be  sought  after, 
seeing  they  must  always  be  attended  with  very  much  danger. 
But  if  we  be  at  all  incited — I  should  rather  say  urged — to  it  by 
a  just  motive,  I  see  no  reason  why  we  should  be  altogether 
averse  to  it. 

Moreover,  as  regards  the  alliance  in  question,  I  cannot  hold 
that  it  should  be  so  avoided,  from  this  cause,  unless  the  present 
aspect  of  the  times  should  compel  me  to  adopt  an  opposite  con- 
clusion. You  have  to  do  with  a  professed  enemy  of  Christ, 
and  one  who  is  daily  venting  his  rage  against  our  brethren. 
He  is  too  little  deserving  of  trust  that  could  wish  that  both  we 
and  Christ  were  annihilated.  It  is  absurd  that  we  should  enter 
into  friendly  alliance  with  one  who  is  at  war  with  all  the  ser- 
vants of  Christ  without  distinction;  that  we  should  seize,  as 
that  of  an  ally,  a  hand  polluted  with  innocent  blood.  And, 
certainly,  I  should  be  unwilling  to  come  to  any  conclusion  on 
the  matter,  unless  it  were  the  express  and  distinct  wish  of  the 
pious  brethren.  For  his  ferocity  is  indeed  extraordinary. 
Besides,  I  am  suspicious  of  the  war  with  England.  For  I  do 
not  think  it  right  to  furnish  any  aid  against  a  kingdom  in 
which  Christ  is  worshipped;  and  the  very  injustice  of  the 
cause,  also,  is  another  obstacle. 

But,  again,  when  I  consider  how  our  cause  has  been 
weakened,  how  great  are  the  calamities  which  still  impend, 
threatening  almost  the  ruin  of  the  Church,  I  fear  much  that  if 


1549.]  BULLINGER.  227 

we  neglect  those  aids  which  it  is  not  unlawful  to  employ,  we 
may  fall  into  a  state  rather  of  excessive  carelessness  than  of 
devout  trustfulness.  Nor,  in  truth,  am  I  ignorant  that  God  is 
especially  present  with  us,  and  powerfully  succours  us  when 
we  are  destitute  of  all  human  aid.  I  know,  also,  that  there  is 
nothing  harder,  when  he  reveals  himself  through  some  Egyptian 
shade,  than  to  keep  the  eye  from  turning  aside;  for  if  they  be 
not  fixed  on  the  one  God,  they  rove  wickedly  and  perniciously. 
We  must,  therefore,  endeavour  zealously  to  counteract  these 
dangers.  Meanwhile,  however,  we  should  be  on  our  guard, 
lest  if,  in  this  our  critical  condition,  we  reject  what,  without 
offending  God,  could  have  aided  us,  we  may  afterwards  feel,  to 
our  loss,  that  we  were  too  careless.  My  first  fear  is,  that  our 
Pharaoh,  shut  out  from  all  hope  of  contracting  friendship  with 
you,  may  betake  himself  to  Antiochus.  How  much  soever  they 
may  have  weighty  grounds  of  disagreement,  this  latter  is  a 
wonderful  master  at  contriving  pretexts;  and  those  who  at 
present  hold  sway  at  our  court,  would  desire  nothing  more  than 
to  incline  the  mind  of  a  youth,  both  inexperienced  and  not 
sufficiently  sagacious,  to  accept  of  peace  on  any  terms  whatever. 
Certainly,  if  he  has  not  already  concluded  it  he  will  do  so  in  a 
short  time.  Nor  will  there  be  wanting  those  who  will  urge 
him  on.  And  I  would  there  were  none  among  us  who  would 
hold  themselves  and  us  as  slaves  to  Antiochus,  should  an  oppor- 
tunity occur  for  doing  so.  He  will,  in  truth,  attempt  every 
thing,  the  other  not  only  approving  of  it,  but  also,  in  the  mean 
time,  assisting  in  it;  because  he  will  suppose  that  in  this  way 
he  is  avenging  his  repulse.  In  the  mean  while,  cruelty  will  be 
kindled  everywhere  through  the  kingdom  itself,  for  he  will,  as 
women  are  wont,  direct  his  own  rage  to  another, — a  considera- 
tion, certainly,  not  to  be  accounted  last  by  us  of  this  place.  If 
I  wished  to  regard  my  own  life  or  private  concerns,  I  should 
immediately  betake  myself  elsewhere.  But  when  I  consider 
how  very  important  this  corner  is  for  the  propagation  of  the 
kingdom  of  Christ,  I  have  good  reason  to  be  anxious  that  it 
should  be  carefully  watched  over;  and,  in  this  respect,  it  is  for 
your  advantage,  and  quiet  partly  depends  upon  it.  What  man, 
imbued  with  wicked  schemes,  when  he  has  been  estranged  from 


228  BULLINGER.  [1549. 

you,  will  not  be  moved  by  despair?  But  you  think  that  we 
are  wanting  in  men  of  discontented  and  revolutionary  charac- 
ter, or  in  those  suffering  from  want,  who  have,  for  a  long  period, 
extended  their  hands  to  him.  However,  as  often  as  I  reflect 
particularly  upon  our  wretched  brethren  who  lie  crushed  under 
that  fearful  tyranny,  my  mind  becomes  soft  and  more  disposed 
to  this  [alliance],  as  it  the  more  unquestionably  appears  benefi- 
cial for  the  alleviation  of  their  sufferings.  Why  is  the  rage  of 
the  tyrant  to  be  removed  when  he  has  seen  that  he  is  despised 
and  scorned?  Is  it  that  thereby  the  wicked  are  to  have  the 
greater  license  for  tormenting  the  innocent?  Thus,  if  any 
alliance  does  intervene,  not  only  will  Pharaoh  himself  be,  for 
the  present,  somewhat  softened,  and  the  executioners  rendered 
less  daring,  but  it  will,  indeed,  be  possible  also  to  extinguish 
the  flames. 

I  beseech  and  solemnly  implore  you  then,  my  dear  BuUinger, 
to  ponder  in  time  all  these  considerations;  and  if  you  come  to 
any  agreement,  strive  earnestly  to  have  your  brethren  remem- 
bered whose  condition  is  so  wretched  and  awful.  For  although 
I  know  you  have  their  welfare  sufficiently  at  heart,  and  am 
certain  that  when  the  matter  is  raised,  you  will,  of  your  own 
accord,  be  solicitous  about  it,  yet  I  did  not  wish  to  neglect  my 
duty.  Indeed,  such  is  his  fierceness,  that  no  fixed  law  can  be 
laid  down  for  you.  I  hope  it  is  possible  to  show,  however, 
that  some  sort  of  moderation  may  be  exhibited. 

Adieu,  excellent  man,  and  much  esteemed  brother  in  the 
Lord.  Salute  especially  Theodore,  Pellican,  Gualter,  Vuerduler, 
and  the  rest  of  the  fellow-ministers.  Present  my  respects  to 
your  colleagues,  and  to  Des  Gallars  among  the  rest.  I  pray 
the  Lord  Jesus  that  he  may  continue  to  guide  and  sustain  you 
by  his  Spirit;  may  he  bless  you  and  your  labours.  I  have  to 
thank  you  greatly  for  the  volume  of  discourses  which  Haller 
sent  in  your  name. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Arcldves  of  Zurich.     Gallic.  Scripta,  p.  11.] 


1549.]  MADAME   DE   LA   ROCHE-POSAY.  229 

CCXLIII. — To  Madame  de  la  Roche-Posay.' 

He  exhorts  her  and  her  companions  to  live  in  conformity  with  the  law  of  God. 

Tliia  l^th  of  June  IbU. 

Madame  and  well-beloved  Sister, — As  we  ought  to  be 
glad  when  the  kingdom  of  the  Son  of  God  our  Saviour  is  mul- 
tiplied, and  the  good  seed  of  his  doctrine  is  everywhere  spread 
abroad,  I  have  been  greatly  rejoiced  in  perceiving  from  your 
letter  that  his  grace  and  bounty  has  reached  to  you,  to  draw 
you  on  in  the  knowledge  of  his  truth,  wherein  lies  our  salva- 
tion and  every  blessing.  Indeed,  it  is  a  kind  of  miracle  when 
he  is  pleased  to  make  his  glorious  light  shine  in  the  place  of 
such  deep  darkness ;  and  this  I  say,  that  you  and  your  asso- 
ciates may  be  the  more  induced  to  value  the  inestimable  bene- 
fit which  he  has  conferred  on  you.  For  if  the  lies  of  Satan 
wherewith  he  has  blinded  and  bewitched  the  wretched  world 
reign  everywhere  at  present,  they  have  their  chief  seat  in  those 
unhappy  prisons  which  he  has  reared  up,  that  he  may  keep 
souls  in  a  twofold  captivity.  Acknowledge  then  that  our  good 
Lord  has  reached  out  a  hand  to  you,  even  to  the  depths  of  the 
abyss,  and  that  in  so  doing  he  has  expressed  an  infinite  com- 
passion toward  you.  Wherefore  it  is  your  duty,  as  St.  Peter 
has  told  us,  to  employ  yourself  in  magnifying  his  holy  name. 
For  in  calling  us  to  himself,  he  sets  us  apart  in  order  tliat 
our  whole  life  may  be  to  his  honour,  which  it  cannot  be  with- 
out our  withdrawing  ourselves  from  the  pollutions  of  this  world. 
And  indeed  there  ought  to  be  a  difference  between  those  who 
are  enlightened  by  Christ  Jesus,  and  the  poor  blinded  ones  who 
know  not  whither  they  are  going.  Therefore  take  heed  that 
the  knowledge  which  he  has  bestowed  upon  you  be  not  unim- 
proved, that  you  may  not  be  reproached  at  the  great  day  for 

'  On  the  hack :  It  is  thought  that  this  letter  has  been  written  to  Madame  de  la 
Roche-Posay,  Abbess  of  Thouars.  A  Seigneur  of  that  name  played  an  important 
part  in  the  religious  wars  of  Poitou,  but  he  figured  in  the  ranks  of  the  Roman  Catho- 
lic army. — Beze,  Hist.  EccL,  torn.  ii.  p.  588.  There  is  a  letter  from  the  Reformed 
Church  of  de  la  Roche-Posay  of  the  27th  May  1561,  addressed  to  Calvin.  (Library 
of  Geneva,  Vol.  107.) 


230  MADAME   DE   LA   ROCHE-POSAY.  [1549. 

having  made  void  his  grace.  But  because  I  am  confident  that 
you  do  so  as  much  as  lieth  in  you,  I  shall  not  dwell  at  greater 
length  on  that  subject.  It  is  quite  certain  that  we  cannot  be 
too  earnestly  importuned  on  this  very  point.  Besides,  I  believe 
that  you  will  receive  this  exhortation  as  3'ou  ought,  not  think- 
ing it  superfluous,  inasmuch  as  it  may  be  of  service  to  you 
against  many  assaults  which  Satan  never  ceases  to  make  upon 
all  the  children  of  God.  Now,  while  he  has  many  ways  in  this 
world  for  seducing  us  out  of  the  straight  path,  we  on  our  parts 
are  so  pitiably  frail,  that  we  are  immediately  overcome. 
Wherefore  we  have  much  need  to  arm  ourselves  completely  at 
every  point.  Moreover,  being  sensible  of  our  infirmity,  which 
makes  us  so  often  come  short,  we  should  supplement  the  ex- 
hortations which  are  made  to  us  in  the  name  of  God,  with 
prayer  and  supplication,  that  it  would  please  our  heavenly 
Father  to  strengthen  us  by  his  might,  and  to  supply  whatso- 
ever is  lacking.  However  it  may  be,  let  us  never  seek  out 
excuses  to  flatter  ourselves  in  our  vices  as  the  most  part  do,  but 
let  us  be  thoroughly  convinced  that  God's  honour  deserves  to  be 
preferred  to  everything  else,  yea  verily  to  life  itself.  And  let 
us  not  think  it  strange,  if  for  his  name's  sake  we  be  chased 
from  one  place  to  another,  and  that  we  must  forsake  the  place 
of  our  birth,  to  transport  ourselves  to  some  unknown  place,  for 
we  must  even  be  ready  to  depart  from  this  world  whensoever 
he  shall  call  us  away.  I  understand  quite  well,  that  in  such 
bondage  as  you  now  are,  you  cannot  serve  God  purely  without  the 
rage  and  cruelty  of  the  wicked  rising  up  immediately  against 
you,  and  without  the  fire  perhaps  being  lighted.  Such  being 
the  case,  were  it  even  necessary  that  you  should  compass  sea 
and  land,  never  grow  weary  in  seeking  the  liberty  to  regulate 
yourself  entirely  according  to  the  will  of  your  kind  heavenly 
Father.  Howbeit,  you  must  remember,  that  wherever  we  may 
go,  the  cross  of  Jesus  Christ  will  follow  us,  even  in  the  place 
where  you  may  enjoy  your  ease  and  comforts.  Lay  your  ac- 
count with  it,  that  even  in  the  country  where  you  have  liberty, 
as  well  to  honour  God  as  to  be  confirmed  by  his  word,  that  you 
will  have  to  endure  many  annoyances.  For  this  is  the  very  way 
whereby  God  would  make  trial  of  our  faith,  and  know  whether. 


1549.]  MADAME   DE   LA   ROCHE-POSAY.  231 

in  seeking  after  him,  we  have  been  renouncing  self.  It  is  right 
that  you  be  informed  of  this  beforehand,  so  that  it  may  not  be 
new  to  you  when  the  experience  of  it  comes,  though  I  doubt 
not  that  you  and  your  associates  are  already  pi'epared  for  it. 
But  the  chief  thing  is  to  pray  God  that  he  would  lead  you,  as 
well  to  guide  you  as  to  uphold  by  his  strong  arm,  in  order  that 
as  he  has  begun  a  good  work  in  you,  he  would  continue  it  until 
he  has  brought  you  on  to  that  perfection,  after  which  we  must 
aspire  until  we  are  gone  forth  out  of  this  world.  And  to  con- 
firm you  in  this  respect,  recall  to  mind  continually  what  an 
unhappiness  it  is  to  be  in  perpetual  disquietude  and  trouble  of 
conscience.  In  this  condition  of  mind,  you  will  naturally  abhor 
the  wretched  state  in  which  you  are,  and  count  but  dung  all 
those  delights  and  all  those  comforts  which  you  must  purchase 
at  so  sad  a  price  as  that  of  daily  offending  God.  When  you 
consider  that  our  life  is  accursed,  and,  of  course,  worse  than  any 
kind  of  death,  if  our  state  be  not  approved  of  God,  no  bands  of 
any  earthly  comforts  will  be  so  strong  that  you  will  not  easily 
rend  them  asunder,  so  as  entirely  to  escape  from  a  kind  of  life 
which  God  condemns,  especially  to  live  in  a  place  where  not 
only  you  may  be  free  to  follow  a  holy  and  Christian  calling, 
but  where  you  will  likewise  have  the  means  of  exercising  your- 
self daily  in  sound  doctrine,  of  which  we  are  so  clearly  enjoined 
to  avail  ourselves.  Such  a  recompense  of  reward  may  well 
stifle  all  regret  of  the  flesh-pots  and  pleasures  of  Egypt,  and 
encourage  us  rather  to  follow  God  in  the  wilderness  than  to 
befool  ourselves  in  the  practice  of  those  lusts  which  our  flesh 
desires  and  longs  for. 

Meanwhile,  Madame  and  good  sister,  having  affectionately 
commended  me  to  your  kind  favour,  and  that  of  your  com- 
panions, I  pray  our  good  Lord  more  and  more  to  increase  his 
spiritual  blessings  upon  you,  to  keep  you  wholly  in  his  obe- 
dience, and  to  have  you  under  his  protection  and  defence 
against  all  the  ambushes  of  Satan  and  those  who  belong  to 
him. 

Your  humble  servant  and  brother, 

Charles  D'Espeville. 

[Fr.  Copy,  Library  of  Geneva.    Yol.  107.] 


232  BUCER.  [1549. 


CCXLiy.— To  BucER.1 

Encouragements  and  consolations — desire  for  the  conclusion  of  peace  between  France 
and  England — excesses  of  the  ultra-Lutheran  party  in  Switzerland  and  Germany — 
agreement  between  the  Churches  of  Geneva  and  Zurich. 

June  1549, 

Although  your  letter  was  mixed  with  joy  and  sorrow,  yet  it 
was  extremely  pleasant  to  me.  Would  that  I  were  able  in  some 
measure  to  lighten  the  sufferings  of  your  heart,  and  those  cares 
by  which  I  see  you  are  tortured !  We  all  beseech  you,  again 
and  again,  not  to  keep  afflicting  yourself  to  no  purpose.  Yet  it 
is  neither  proper  in  itself,  nor  is  it  in  keeping  with  your  piety, 
nor  should  we  desire  to  see  it,  that  amid  such  various  and 
manifold  causes  for  grief,  you  should  be  joyous  and  cheerful. 
You  should  make  it  your  study,  however,  to  serve  the  Lord  and 
the  Church  as  far  as  you  have  opportunity.  You  have  indeed 
run  a  long  race,  but  you  know  not  how  much  may  be  still 
before  you.  It  may  be  that  I,  who  have  just  commenced  the 
race,  am  at  present  nearer  to  the  goal.  But  the  direction  and 
the  termination  of  your  course  are  alike  in  the  hand  of  the 
Lord.  I  am  a  daily  witness  to  many  deaths,  in  order  that  I  may 
be  made  as  active  as  possible  amid  the  dangers  which  threaten 
us  from  many  quarters.  Just  as  wars  keep  you  busy  where 
you  are,  so  we  here  give  way  to  sluggish  fears.  I  trust,  how- 
ever, that  the  internal  tumults  are  already  calmed ;  and  there 
is  a  report  of  a  cessation  of  hostilities  between  you  and  the 

'  This  letter  is  without  a  date,  but  is  evidently  related  to  the  early  period  of  Bucer's 
residence  in  England.  Proceeding  from  Strasbourg  on  the  5th  April  1549  with  Paul 
Fagius,  he  reached  London  on  the  25th,  and  met  with  a  very  cordial  reception  at 
Lambeth,  in  the  house  of  Cranmer,  Archbishop  of  Canterbury.  At  the  desire  of  his 
protector,  and  amid  the  sorrows  inseparable  from  his  exile,  he  immediately  undertook 
a  new  translation  of  the  Bible,  which  he  was  not  permitted  to  finish,  owing  to  repeated 
illness,  brought  on  by  the  change  of  climate.  He  was  engaged,  at  the  same  time,  on 
a  revision  of  the  English  Liturgy,  from  which  he  removed  everything  that  appeared 
to  be  tainted  with  Popery,  without  going  as  far  in  these  corrections  as  he  was  desired 
by  Calvin,  who  was  pressing  him  by  letter  to  remove  the  accusations  of  his  life,  by 
showing  himself  more  resolute  and  firm  than  hitherto. — See  La  France  Protestante  of 
M.  M.  Haag.     Art.  Buccr. 


1549,]  BUCER.  238 

French.'  Would  that  a  plan  of  stable  peace  could  be  agreed 
upon :  for  we  see  that  trainer  of  gladiators,  who  is  bringing 
these  two  kingdoms  into  conflict,  in  the  meantime  laughing 
at  his  ease,  and  ready  to  seize  any  turn  of  fortune,  in  order 
that  he  may  attack  the  victor  with  fresh  forces,  and  gather  the 
spoils  of  the  vanquished  without  sweat  and  blood,  and  thus 
triumph  over  and  carry  off  the  booty  from  both.^  But  when 
I  reflect  on  the  wicked  counsels  by  which  France  is  ruled,  I 
almost  despair  of  this  matter.  Indeed,  they  fear  him  more 
than  enough ;  but,  by  haughtily  despising  others,  they  do  not 
guard  themselves  against  his  craft.  And  indeed  the  Lord  is 
by  this  blindness  justly  avenging,  as  I  take  it,  their  atrocious 
cruelty  to  his  saints,  which  is  daily  increasing.  Just  as  their 
wickedness  is  gathering  strength,  and  is  continually  becoming 
worse,  so  I  pray  that  the  English  may,  with  a  contrary  emula- 
tion, make  a  stand  for  the  genuine  purity  of  Christianity,  until 
everything  in  that  country  is  seen  to  be  regulated  according  to 
the  rule  which  Christ  himself  has  laid  down.  As  you  wished, 
and  as  the  present  state  of  things  urgently  demanded,  I  have 
attempted  to  encourage  the  Lord  Protector ;  and  it  will  be 
your  duty  to  insist  by  all  means,  if  you  get  a  hearing — and  of 
that  I  am  persuaded — that  those  rites  which  savour  of  super- 
stition be  entirely  removed.  I  particularly  commend  this  to 
you,  that  you  thereby  may  free  yourself  of  a  charge  which 
many,  as  you  know,  falsely  bring  against  you;  for  they  always 
regard  you  as  either  the  author  or  approver  of  half  measures. 
I  know  that  this  suspicion  is  fixed  too  deeply  in  the  minds  of 
some  to  be  easily  rooted  out,  even  if  you  do  your  best.  And 
some  have  been  led  to  calumniate  you  spitefully  for  no  error 
whatever.  This  is  accordingly  damaging  to  you,  in  some 
measure  fatal,  as  you  can  with  difficulty  escape  from  it.  How- 
ever, you  must  be  on  your  guard,  lest  occasion  of  suspicion  be 


'  War  prevailed  at  that  time  between  France  and  England,  with  Artois  and 
Scotland  for  its  theatre.  Peace  was  concluded  only  the  year  following  (May  1550). 
-De  Thou,  torn.  vi. 

'In   allusion  to  the  Emperor,  who  saw  his  power  increase  by  the  weakness  of 
the  English  and  French  mouarcbs,  who  were  equally  interested  in  opposing  his  su- 
premacy on  the  Continent, 
30 


234  BUCER.  [1549. 

afforded  the  ignorant :  the  wicked  eagerly  snatch  at  any  pre- 
text for  abuse.  I  am  exceedingly  sorry  that  N.'  is  annoying 
you  without  cause.  "Would  that  he  would  learn  humanity 
some  time!  I  am  the  more  ready  to  pardon  him,  as  he  seems 
to  me  to  be  so  moved  by  malice,  as  to  be  driven  by  a  blind  im- 
pulse. You  cannot  credit  how  bitterly  he  has  wounded  us  at 
times;  alike  the  innocent,  the  absent,  and  the  friendly.  When 
Yiret  was  well  nigh  overcome  by  the  very  great  injustice  of 
some,  and  by  the  perfidiousness  of  others,  he  was  as  violently 
attacked  by  this  individual,  as  if  he  had  been  the  most  in- 
famous traitor  to  the  Church.  He  would  certainly  accustom 
himself  to  mildness  if  he  knew  what  hurt  is  done  by  the  in- 
temperateness  of  his  too  fervid  zeal  and  immoderate  severity. 
You  must  endure  with  your  accustomed  forbearance  this  and 
other  indignities  offered  to  you.  The  people  of  Zurich,  cer- 
tainly, did  not  approve  of  his  cause.  I  differ  from  you  some- 
what in  this  matter;  in  that,  you  think  injury  will  be  done  to 
the  opposite  party.  For  while  you  think  that  they  would 
never  labour  under  such  gross  hallucinations  as  to  imagine  that 
Christ  was  diffused  everywhere,  you  do  not  hold  what  Brentius, 
among  others,  has  written,  that  when  Christ  was  lying  in  the 
manger  he  was,  even  as  to  his  body,  full  of  glory  in  heaven. 
And  to  speak  more  plainly,  you  know  that  the  Popish  doctrine 
is  more  moderate  and  sober  than  that  of  Amsdorf,^  and  those 
resembling  him,  who  have  raved  as  if  they  were  the  priestesses 
of  Apollo.  You  know  how  cruelly  Master  Philip  has  been  an- 
noyed, because  he  observed  a  certain  degree  of  moderation.  In 
their  madness  they  even  drew  idolatry  after  them.  For  what 
else  is  the  adorable  sacrament  of  Luther  but  an  idol  set  up  in 
the  temple  of  God?  I  desired,  however,  to  see  all  these  things 
buried.  Indeed  I  have  done  my  utmost  among  our  neighbours 
to  keep  them  from  railing;  yet  as  it  afforded  them  satisfac- 
tion, I  did  not  hesitate,  the  names  being  suppressed,  to  condemn 


'  Doubtless  one  of  the  ministers  of  the  Church  of  Berne. 

**  Nicolas  Amsdorf,  a  learned  German  minister,  exaggerated  the  Lutheran  doctrine 
regarding  Works  and  the  Supper,  and  wrote  a  book,  in  ■which  he  endeavoured  to 
prove  that  good  works  are  hurtful  to  salvation, — Bo7ia  opera  aunt  ad  salutem  noxia  et 
perniciosa. — Molchior  Adam,  pp.  69,  70 


1549.]  BUCER.  235 

all  tlie  errors  to  which  I  was  expressly  opposed.  You  certainly 
seem  to  me  to  enter  with  too  much  subtlety  into  the  discussion 
about  place.  Others  are  more  seriously  offended  by  your  ob- 
scurity, which  they  think  you  have  studied  craftily  to  employ. 
I  know  indeed  that  in  this  they  are  wrong.  But  I  do  not  see 
why  you  should  shrink  so  much  from  what  we  teach;  that  when 
Christ  is  said  to  have  ascended  into  heaven,  there  is  affirmed 
by  this  expression  a  diversity  of  places.  For  it  is  not  disputed 
here  whether  there  is  place  in  celestial  glory,  but  only  whether 
the  body  of  Christ  is  in  the  world.  As  the  Scriptures  have 
borne  clear  testimony  on  that  point,  I  have  no  hesitation  in  era- 
bracing  it  as  an  article  of  faith.  And  yet,  as  you  will  find 
from  our  document,'  this  was  yielded  to  the  fretfulness  of  some, 
not  without  a  struggle:  for  I  had  framed  the  words  differently. 
Nothing  was  comprised  in  this  formula  which  we  employed, 
except  what  I  perceived  it  would  be  scrupulousness  not  to  con- 
cede to  others.  You  wish  piously  and  wisely,  to  explain  more 
clearly  and  fully  the  effect  of  the  Sacrament,  and  what  the 
Lord  bestows  through  it.  Nor  indeed  was  it  owing  to  me  that 
they  were  not  fuller  on  some  points.  Let  us  bear  therefore 
with  a  sigh  what  we  cannot  correct.  You  will  find  here  a  copy 
of  the  document  which  they  sent  me.  The  two  paragraphs 
which  you  feared  they  would  not  admit,  were  readily  adopted. 
Had  the  rest  imitated  the  calmness  of  Bullinger,  I  should  have 
obtained  all  more  easily.  It  is  well,  however,  that  we  have 
agreed  about  the  truth,  and  that  we  are  at  one  in  the  most  im- 
portant sense.  It  would  be  exceedingly  appropriate  for  you  to 
modify  these  two  theses  somewhat,  in  order  to  bring  out  more 
clearly  that  you  place  Christ  apart  from  us  who  are  in  the 
world,  by  a  diversity  of  place;  in  the  second  place,  that  you 
might  discard  the  more  obviously  all  those  false  inventions  by 
which  the  minds  of  men  have  been  led  to  superstition;  and 
above  all,  that  you  might  vindicate  the  glory  of  the  Holy  Spirit 
and  of  Christ,  lest  aught  should  be  attributed  to  the  ministers 
or  to  the  elements.  At  the  commencement  of  our  delibera- 
tions, agreement  seemed  really  hopeless.   Light  suddenly  broke 

'  The  common  formulary,  doubtless,  on  the  Supper,  compiled  by  Calvin,  which  the 
theologians  of  Zurich  and  Geneva  were  led  to  adopt. 


236  ANNE  SEYMOUR.  [1549. 

forth.  Our  forefathers  wished  to  deliberate  with  other  Churches. 
We  agreed  without  difficulty.  N.'s  dissension  must  be  borne 
with  equanimity.  Farel,  as  you  will  see,  writes  you  at  great 
length.  Yiret  dare  not,  for  you  cannot  believe  how  unjustly  he 
is  treated.  He  salutes  you  as  dutifully  as  he  can,  and  wishes 
you  to  excuse  him.  All  my  colleagues,  also,  salute  you  re- 
spectfully. There  is  nothing  new  here  except  that  Zurich  and 
Berne  have  cut  off  all  hopes  of  an  alliance  with  France.' 
Adieu,  very  illustrious  sir,  and  father  in  the  Lord,  truly  worthy 
of  my  regard. 

John  Calvin. 

[Calvin's  Lat.  Corresp.    Opera,  torn.  Is.  p.  49.] 


CCXLY.— To  Lady  Anne  Seymour.^ 

Thanks  to  the  Duchess  of  Somerset,  the  mother  of  Anne  Seymour — exhortation  to 
perseverance  in  the  true  faith. 

17th  June  1549. 

As  your  mother,  illustrious  lady,  lately  presented  me  with  a 
ring,  as  a  token  of  her  good-will  towards  me,  which  I  did  not 
at  all  deserve,  it  would  be  exceedingly  unbecoming  in  me  not 

'  While  Schafifhausen,  Basle,  and  Bienne  acceded  to  the  French  alliance,  Zurich  and 
Berne  haughtily  refused  to  be  the  allies  of  a  monarch  who  was  the  persecutor  of  the 
churches  of  France.  Moved  by  the  eloquence  of  Bullinger,  the  Seigneury  of  Zurich 
declared  that  it  would  lean  upon  God  alone,  and  dispense  with  the  alliance  of  the  king. 
^Hist.  de  la  Snis8e,  torn.  xi.  p.  308. 

=  "To  the  Most  Noble,  Most  Gifted,  and  Most  Honourable  Lady  Ann,  Eldest 
Daughter  of  the  very  Illustrious  Protector  of  England." 

Anne  Seymour,  the  eldest  daughter  of  the  Duke  of  Somerset,  Protector  of  England, 
was  distinguished  alike  for  her  illustrious  descent,  genius,  and  piety.  She  married 
in  1550  the  Earl  of  Warwick,  son  of  the  Duke  of  Northumberland,  and  thus  apparently 
sealed  the  reconciliation  of  her  father  with  the  ambitious  head  of  that  illustrious  house. 
We  read  in  a  letter,  from  Martin  Micronius  to  Bullinger,  of  4th  June  1650  : — "  On  the 
third  of  this  month  was  celebrated  a  marriage  between  the  daughter  of  the  Duke  of 
Somerset  and  the  son  of  the  Earl  of  Warwick,  at  which  the  King  himself  was  present. 
This  event,  I  hope,  will  wonderfully  unite  and  conciliate  the  friendship  of  those  noble- 
men."— Zurich  Letters,  1st  series,  torn.  ii.  p.  569. 


1549.]  ANNE  SEYMOUK.  237 

to  show  some  sign  of  gratitude,  by  giving  expression,  at  least, 
to  my  regard  for  her.     But  not  being  able  to  find  language, 
again,  in  which  to  discharge  this  sort  of  duty,  nothing  seems 
fitter  than  that  I  should  call  you  to  my  aid,  noble  lady,  dis- 
tinguished no  less  by  your  worth  than  by  your  descent.     For 
as  you  will  be,  of  all  others,  the  most  suitable  negotiator  with 
your  mother,  you  will  be  glad  to  present  this  mark  of  respect 
to  her,  in  virtue  of  your  very  great  affection  for  her ;  and,  par- 
ticularly, as  the  address  will  not,  or  I  am  mistaken,  be  unplea- 
sant to  her.     For  I  learn  you  have  understood  from  her  words 
that  she  is  agreeably  disposed  towards  me.    Now,  if  my  prayers 
be  of  any  avail  with  you,  I  would  particularly  request  of  you, 
not  to  take  amiss  the  humble  salutation  offered,  with  all  sub- 
mission, by  me  to  her,  that  she  may,  at  least,  understand,  that 
that  gifl  of  which  I  was  held  worthy  was  not  bestowed  upon 
one  who  knew  not  to  be  grateful.     Moreover,  I  made  bold  to 
use  the  more  confidence  with  you,  as  I  learned  that  you  were 
not  only  cultivated  in  liberal  knowledge,  (a  singular  thing  in  a 
young  person  of  rank  of  this  place,)  but  that  you  were  also  so 
well  informed  in  the  doctrines  of  Christ,  that  you  grant  a  will- 
ing access  to  his  ministers,  among  whose  number,  if  I  mistake 
not,  you  acknowledge  me  a  place.     It  remains  for  me  to  exhort 
you  to  pursue  your  so  happy  course,  even  although,  as  I  hear, 
you  are  willing  enough  of  yourself ;  and  I  trust  that  the  Lord 
who  gave  you  this  disposition,  will  also  grant  you  steadfastness 
to  persevere  to  the  end.     However,  you  will  take  my  exhorta- 
tion in  good  part,  as  incitements  are  never  superfluous,  since 
there  are  so  many  obstacles  and  hindrances  in  the  world,  and 
so  many  infirmities  in  our  flesh.     Certainly,  among  so  many 
excellent  gifts  with  which  God  has  endowed  and  adorned  you, 
this  stands  unquestionably  first, — that  he  stretched  out  his 
hand  to  you  in  tender  childhood,  to  lead  you  to  his  own  Son, 
who  is  the  author  of  eternal  salvation,  and  the  fountain  of  all 
good.     It  becomes  you  to  strive,  with  all  the  more  zeal,  to 
follow  eagerly  at  his  call.  Especially  as  he  has,  at  the  same  time, 
given  you  that  support  of  which  we  see  not  only  the  daughters 
of  noblemen,  but  even  noblemen  themselves,  to  be  often  de- 
prived.    Salute  your  brother — a  boy  of  heroic  nature — and 


238  FAREL.  [1549. 

your  very  noble  sisters.  May  the  Lord  enrich  you  daily  with 
his  blessing,  and  may  he  be  the  constant  guide  of  the  whole 
course  of  your  life. 

Adieu,  most  excellent  lady,  deserving  of  my  esteem.    Truly 
yours  to  obey  you, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat,  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  107,  a.] 


CCXLYI.— To  Farel. 

Reply  by  the  Protector  of  England  to  a  letter  from  Calvin. 

9d  July  1549. 

The  English  messenger'  has  at  last  returned.  He  has 
brought  a  letter  from  the  Eegent,  in  which  he  expresses  him- 
self thankful  for  my  service.  His  wife  sent  me  a  present  of  a 
ring,  not  of  great  value,  not  being  worth  more  than  four  crown 
pieces.  The  members  of  his  family  led  me  to  expect  a  toler- 
ably liberal  present  from  him,  in  a  short  time,  which  I  neither 
desire  nor  long  for.  For  what  has,  as  I  hear,  given  a  keener 
stimulus  to  him,  is  a  sufficiently  ample  reward  for  me.  Adieu, 
dearly  beloved  brother  in  the  Lord.  May  the  Lord  Jesus  keep 
you  and  continue  to  bless  you  in  your  sacred  labours.  I  infer 
that  the  quarrel  with  the  prefect  is  settled,  from  your  not  writ- 
ing me  regarding  it.  Salute  respectfully  your  family  and  our 
fellow-ministers.  My  associates  send  you  their  regards :  Nor- 
mandie  also,  and  the  rest  of  your  friends. — Yours, 

John  Calvin, 

\Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.     Vol.  106.] 
'  The  messenger  charged  with  the  letter  to  the  Regent  of  22d  October  1549. 


1549.]  FAREL.  239 


CCXLYII.— To  Farel. 

Imprisonment  of  two  brothers  of  M.  de  Falais — persecution  in  the  Low  Countries 

and  in  France. 

Geneva,  19th  July  1549. 

You  know  of  the  letter  we  have  received  from  Bullinger.  I 
was  hoping  the  Bernese  were  going  to  give  over  negotiations. 
At  all  events,  the  inhabitants  of  Zurich  see  now  with  what  just 
reason  we  in  time  past  complained  of  our  broken  heads.  Haller 
lately  confessed  to  me  that  he  would  gladly  have  written,  had 
Schirma  not  been  afraid.  I  certainly  excuse  what  does  not  pro- 
voke such.  rage.  The  people  of  Zurich  might  have  obtained 
their  wishes  from  the  Senate,  had  they  not  stripped  themselves 
of  all  liberty.  For  they  have  so  often  repeated  this  old  song — 
that  they  should  abide  by  things- as  they  were,  that  nothing 
further  should  be  done,  that  something  deceptive  always 
lurked  under  the  guise  of  harmony — that  they  are  now  ashamed 
to  say  a  word  on  the  opposite  side.  Nothing  remains  for  them 
now  but  to  suppress  everything,  or  follow  that  new  plan  of 
yours.  I  was  astonished  that  Yiret  did  not  indicate  by  a  single 
word  what  was  your  opinion  of  them  both.  Be  sure  to  let  me 
know  at  your  very  first  opportunity  what  arrangement  you 
think  should  be  made.  I  have  nothing  further  to  add  except 
that  two  of  M.  de  Falais'  brothers  are  in  prison.'  After  the 
Emperor  had  given  them  a  polite  reception,  he  sent  them  to 
Granvelle.  He  received  them  courteously  also.  On  leaving 
him,  they  were  bound  by  the  officer,  and  thrust  hastily  into 
prison.  They  were  then  removed  to  the  Castle  of  Yillevord, 
whence  no  one  is  brought  forth  except  for  punishment.  Awful 
persecution  blazes  now  over  that  region;  let  us  then  assist  the 
godly  brethren  with  our  prayers.*  The  Frenchman  is  as  mad 
as  ever.     He  wished  to  be  present  at  the  burning  of  two 

'  The  names  and  fate  of  these  two  brothers  of  M.  do  Falais  are  not  known. 

"  See  the  account  of  the  persecutions  in  Ilainault  in  L'Histoire  des  Martyrs, 
p.  184.  A  woman  named  Mary  was  buried  alive.  A  learned  Frenchman  named 
M.  Nicolas,  endured  courageously  the  torment  of  the  stake,  crying  out  in  the  midst 
of  the  flames :  "  0  Charles,  Charles,  how  long  will  thy  courage  endure  ?" 


240  viRET.  [1549. 

[martyrs]  lately.'  May  the  Lord  by  his  own  power  put  a  check 
UjDon  his  atrocious  ferocity.     Amen. 

We  all  salute  you.  Salute  also,  in  turn,  all  our  friends,  and 
especially  our  fellow-ministers.  I  infer  that  you  have  been  de- 
ceived about  Christopher,  because  you  had  supposed  he  was 
going  to  come  hither.     Respectful  regards  to  him, — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

De  Falais  received  that  sad  intelligence  with  quite  heroic 
courage. 

[Lat.  orig.  autogr. -^Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  106.] 


CCXLYIII.— To  YiRET. 

Negotiations   in   reference   to  the   publication  of  the    Consensus — George,  Count   of 

Montbeliard. 

[Geneva,  20th  July  1549. 

You  ought  also  to  add  your  judgment  to  the  letter  of  Bullin- 
ger.  The  reason  which  he  prefixes  for  publishing  the  agree- 
ment, has  something  or  other  absurd  in  it.  I  fear  again  that 
the  same  over-scrupulousness  will  appear  in  this  affair.  I  shall 
neglect  nothing,  however,  which  you  and  Farel  think  it  useful 
to  attempt. 

I  have  written  to  Paris  concerning  the  Hebrew  professor. 
If  one  be  procured,  he  can  hardly  be  present  on  the  day  of  your 
assembly,  as  I  had  not  fixed  upon  so  short  a  time,  seeing  that 
it  would  have  been  in  vain  for  me  to  have  done  so,  as  two 
letters  had  scarcely  reached  that  place. 

'  One  of  the  martyrs  here  referred  to  was  a  poor  tailor,  who,  led  before  the  King 
and  Diana  of  Poictiers,  made  a  courageous  confession  of  his  faith,  addressed  stern 
words  to  la  favorite,  and  was  condemned  to  perish  in  the  flames.  The  king 
wished  to  be  a  spectator  of  his  sufferings,  "and,  to  command  a  better  view,  went 
to  the  house  of  Sieur  de  la  Rochepot,  opposite  the  stake.  The  martj-r  remained 
firm,  and  having  perceived  the  king,  he  fastened  on  him  a  look  so  fixed  and  pene- 
trating, that  the  affrighted  monarch  was  forced  to  retire;  and  he  afterwards  re- 
peatedly confessed,  that  the  look  of  that  man  incessantly  pursued  him,  and  that  ho 
never  again  wished  to  be  present  at  a  fine  spectacle." — Histoire  dea  Martyrs,  p.  189, 
Beze,  torn.  i.  p.  79. 


1549.]        THE    PASTORS   OF   THE    CHURCH   OF    ZURICH.  241 

Count  George  de  Wurtemberg,  brother  of  Duke  Ulricli,  is 
here."  We  dined  with  him  yesterday.  "VVe  had  much  pious 
conversation  together.  He  had  said  so  much  to  my  honour 
before,  that  Wendelius  was  almost  making  an  ado  about  it. 
Plessiacus  will  give  you  an  account  of  the  state  of  France.  It 
is  better  to  talk  over  our  affairs  than  to  write  about  them. 

Adieu,  most  honest  brother,  together  with  your  wife  and 
little  daughter.  May  the  Lord  Jesus  ever  watch  over  you  all. 
Salute  the  brethren  in  my  name.  Excuse  me  to  Renier  for 
not  having  written  him. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Led.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.     Vol.  106.] 


CCXLIX. — To  the  Pastors  of  the  Church  of  Zurich.'^ 

Urgent  recommendation  of  the  adoption  of  a  fixed  formulary  in  the  celebration  of  the 

Lord's  Supper. 

Geneva,  1st  Atigust  1549. 

Although  I  have  repeated  occasion  to  act  with  you  concern- 
ing the  same  matter,  yet  I  do  not  think  I  should  be  afraid  of 
seeming  troublesome.  Since  the  same  subject  is  a  matter  of 
common  interest  to  us,  it  cannot  be  that  you  will  disapprove  of 
what  I  am  engaged  in,  and,  as  the  perpetual  importunity  of 

'  George  de  Wurtemberg,  Count  of  Montbeliard,  dispossessed  of  bis  estates  by 
Charles  V.  Ho  had  obtained  from  the  Scigneury  of  Borne  permission  to  reside  at 
Arau. 

"  See  letter  p.  208. 

After  the  long  conferences,  in  which  Farel  and  Fabri  took  part  in  the  name  of  the 
Church  of  Neuchatel,  and  after  a  correspondence  of  many  mouths,  the  theologians  of 
Zurich  and  Geneva  came  to  an  agreement  on  the  doctrine  of  the  sacrament  of  the 
Supper,  and  drew  up  a  common  formula,  which  may  bo  seen  in  Hospinian. — Hist. 
Sacr.,  tom.  ii.  pp.  369,  370.  It  is  very  likely,  says  Ruchat,  that  this  definite  formula 
■was  the  work  of  Calvin.  We  recognize  his  genius  in  it  at  least,  and  we  find  in  it  the 
same  ideas  and  e.xpressions  met  with  in  his  Liturgy  on  the  Holy  Supper. — Hist,  de  la 
Bif.,  tom.  V.  p.  378.  The  adoption  of  this  formula  was  the  first  step  towards  the 
union  of  the  Swiss  churches,  sanctioned  two  years  after  the  death  of  Calvin  (1566), 
by  the  adoption  of  the  famous  Helvetic  Confession. 

31 


242     THE  PASTORS  OF  THE  CHURCH  OF  ZURICH.   [154.9. 

good  men  urges  me  to  it,  a  little  more  zealously  than  is  proper. 
I  have  oftentimes  already  given  advice  regarding  a  small 
matter,  although  many  were  offended,  not  without  a  show  of 
reason,  at  my  seeming  to  teach  something  or  other  different 
from  you  regarding  the  sacraments.  Your  Church,  adorned 
with  so  many  distinguished  gifts,  is  deservedly  held  in  honour 
by  those  men.  They  show  some  [respect]  to  our  Church  also, 
and,  perhaps,  to  myself  as  an  individual.  So  they  are  anxious 
to  obtain  assistance  from  our  writings  in  coming  to  a  know- 
ledge of  the  doctrines  of  sacred  duty,  lest  any  sort  of  discus- 
sion should  retard  their  progress.  I  have  thought,  accord- 
ingly, that  no  remedy  was  better  fitted  for  removing  this  of- 
fence than  if,  to  show  our  unanimity,  we  were  to  enter  kindly 
into  consideration  of  it  by  means  of  friendly  conference.  For 
this  purpose  I  have,  as  you  are  aware,  undertaken  a  journey 
to  you.  And  our  venerable  associate,  William  Farel — that 
indefatigable  soldier  of  Christ,  and  my  guide  and  counsellor — 
has  not  been  reluctant  to  join  me  as  a  companion,  in  order  to 
unite  with  us  in  bearing  truly  and  faithfully  what  testimony 
we  can  on  the  one  side  and  on  the  other.  But  because,  in  the 
present  state  of  the  question,  I  do  not  carry  all  along  with  me, 
I  am  greatly  pained  that  those,  whose  peace  of  mind  I  should 
wish  to  regard,  continue  in  a  troubled,  or,  at  all  events,  in  an 
uncertain  state.  And,  just  as  I  said  at  the  outset,  I  think  I  do 
nothing  unseasonable,  when  I  insist  on  there  being  some  pub- 
lic testimony  made  regarding  those  points  on  which  we  are 
agreed.  I  have  indeed  thought  it  a  reward  for  my  trouble  to 
draw  up  briefly  and  arrange  those  paragraphs  on  which  we 
have  conferred,  in  order  that,  if  my  plan  be  approved  of  by 
you,  any  one  may  see  at  a  glance,  as  it  were,  what  we  have 
been  engaged  in,  and  what  we  have  completed.  I  certainly 
do  trust  that  you  will  be  my  witnesses,  that  I  have  reported 
faithfully  all  that  I  have  brought  forward.  Pious  readers 
will  doubtless  observe,  that  we — I  mean  Farel  and  myself — 
have  with  equal  care  sought  perspicuity,  unmixed  with  any 
deceit,  and  void  of  all  guile.  Nevertheless,  I  should  wish 
them,  at  the  same  time,  to  be  reminded,  that  there  is  nothing 
contained  here  which  our  fellow-labourers  also,  be  they  who 


1549.]  BULLINGER.  243 

they  may,  whether  serving  Christ  under  the  rule  of  the  Gene- 
vese  Kepublic,  or  in  the  Neuchatel  district,  have  not  by  their 
signature  approved. 

Adieu,  most  excellent  men  and  brethren,  deserving  of  my 
hearty  regard.  May  the  Lord  continue  to  guide  you  by  his 
Spirit  in  the  edification  of  his  Church,  and  may  he  bless  our 
labours. 

[Lat.  Copy. — Arcliives  of  Zurich,  Gest.  vi.  105,  p.  411.] 


CCL.— To  BULLINGER.' 

Revisal  of  the  Formulary — persecutions  in  France. 

Geneva,  \Zth  August  1549. 

I  was  reminded,  when  it  was  too  late,  of  the  departure  of  the 
registrar.  For  it  was  not  convenient  for  me  to  write  then — 
on  account  of  the  Supper  namely — especially  as  I  was  not  able 
to  do  it  so  satisfactorily  as  could  be  wished.  Indeed  this  is 
almost  a  customary  thing  with  me.  But  a  letter  came  into  my 
possession  to-day  which  you  had  written  just  before  mine  was 
composed.  I  had  delayed  writing  you  a  private  letter,  indeed, 
until  a  trustworthy  messenger  might  be  at  hand  to  convey  it  to 
you.  And  although  I  had  not  actually  come  under  any  obli- 
gation, I  was  unwilling  to  forego  the  opportunity  which  pre- 
sented itself.  You  will  ascertain  whether  the  edition  with  this 
new  preface  will  satisfy  the  Bernese.  Of  yourself  and  your 
associates  I  have  no  doubt.  For,  in  my  opinion,  I  have  fol- 
lowed your  outlines  and  only  spread  my  colours  over  them. 
But  you  remember  what  I  lately  wrote  regarding  your  two 
paragraphs.  I  am  persuaded  -there  will  be  no  one  among  you 
who  would  not,  of  his  own  accord,  desire  my  additions.     And 

'  See  the  preceding  letter.  The  negotiations  entered  into  with  the  Church  of  Zu- 
rich, and  already  near  a  close,  were  prosecuted  equally  at  Borne ;  but  they  were  en- 
countered there  by  insurmountable  difficulties,  arising  from  the  hesitation  of  the  min- 
isters and  the  policy  of  the  Seigneury.  Calvin  did  not  shrink  from  any  concessions 
which,  without  causing  injury  to  the  integrity  of  the  doctrine,  might  rally  their  spirits 
to  union  and  peace. — Ilospinian,  torn.  ii.  p.  370. 


244  BULLINGEE.  [1549. 

they  are  of  especial  importance,  lest  some  might  think  we  were 
rather  artfully  silent,  and  others  justly  desire  what  must  ne- 
cessarily be  expressly  stated.  The  third  correction  will  pre- 
sent no  difficulty  save  in  one  or  two  words.  I  know  the  whole 
matter  must  so  commend  itself  to  you  and  to  the  rest  of  the 
brethren,  that  I -shall  entirely  acquiesce  in  your  decision. 
What  you  decide  upon,  therefore,  I  shall  regard  as  altogether 
satisfactory.  I  think,  again,  that  you  will  understand  what  I 
am  aiming  at. 

I  dare  hardly  venture  to  give  you  anything  new  from  this 
place,  there  are  so  many  idle  rumours  daily  afloat.  This,  at 
least,  is  certain,  that  numerous  dangers  are  not  very  far  distant, 
unless  the  Lord  counteract  them.  All  that  I  wish  is,  that 
Christians  may  live  securely,  as  they  can  die  securely.  The 
Frenchman  is  so  insane,  that,  as  one  may  say,  he  wishes,  after 
the  fashion  of  the  giants,  to  fight  against  God.'  In  the  mean- 
while, the  firmness  of  the  martyrs  is  wonderful.^  It  was  a  new 
thing  for  the  king,  when  one  of  them  of  his  own  accord  de- 
voted himself  as  a  sacrifice,  that  he  might  openly  address  to 
him  at  least  three  words  for  Christ,  when  he  was  preparing  to 
witness  the  burning.  I  do  not  write  to  Celio,  and  perhaps 
he  has  not  yet  gone  to  you.  If  he  is  there,  I  should  wish  him, 
as  previously  ordered,  to  speak  to  the  bookseller  regarding  the 
money  for  which  I  became  security.  He  complains  that  the 
decision  will  be  unfair.  Our  friend,  however,  says  the  opposite. 


'  In  the  month  of  July  1549,  the  fury  of  the  persecutions  was  redoubled  at  Paris 
and  in  the  provinces,  and  places  of  execution  were  so  multiplied  everywhere,  as  if  the 
King  had  wished,  by  additional  severity,  to  remove  from  memory  the  Edict  which  he 
had  restored  on  account  of  the  Vaudois  of  Provence. — Beze,  Hist.  EccL,  tom.  i.  p.  70, 
et  suiv.  Notwithstanding  all  this  violence,  says  Beze,  the  churches  increased  and 
gathered  strength  in  many  places. 

"  Among  the  number  of  professors  burnt  on  occasion  of  the  public  entrance  of  the 
King  into  Paris,  there  is  found  Florcnt  Venot,  of  Sedane  in  Brie, — allowed  to  stand 
for  six  weeks  in  a  pit  at  Chatelet,  called  the  Hippocras'  Cup,  where  it  was  impossible 
either  to  remain  lying  or  standing — and  whose  firmness  overcame  the  cruelty  of  the 
executioners.  "You  think,"  he  said  to  them,  "by  long  torment,  to  weaken  the  force 
of  the  spirit,  but  you  waste  your  time,  and  God  will  enable  me  to  bless  his  holy  name 
even  till  my  death."  Compelled,  by  a  refinement  of  cruelty,  to  be  a  spectator  of  the 
torment  of  his  brethren  burnt  at  Paris,  he  exhorted  them  by  look  and  gesture  before 
he  ascended  the  pile  prepared  for  him  in  the  Place  Mauhert. — Hist,  dca  Martyrs, 
p.  186. 


15-19.]  FAREL   AND   VIRET.  245 

I  rernaiu  neutral.     But  since  I  have  pledged  my  word,  I  am 
called  upon  to  pay  it. 

Adieu,  brother  in  the  Lord,  and  most  honourable  and  accom- 
plished man,  together  with  all  your  fellow-ministers,  whom  you 
will  salute  respectfully  in  our  name.  May  the  Lord  be  ever 
near  you  and  keep  you,  and  may  you  be  instrumental  in  ad- 
vancing the  glory  of  his  name!     Amen. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Archives  of  Zurich.     Gest.  vi.  105,  p.  417.] 


CCLI — To  Farel  and  Viret. 

Letter  concerning  Vergerio — history  of  Francis  Spira. 

Ibth  August  1549. 

You  have  here  the  letter  which  I  sent  to  Bullinger.'  I  re- 
solved, indeed,  not  to  send  it  until  I  should  learn  that  it  would 
be  agreeable  to  you.  But  the  messenger,  who  has  just  left  me, 
having  unexpectedly  presented  himself,  led  me  to  change  this 
resolution.  It  might  perhaps  have  been  written  better  by 
another,  yet  I  hope  it  will  appear  tolerably  satisfactory  to  you. 
Having  the  utmost  confidence  in  your  carefulness,  my  dear 
Viret,  I  have  not  retained  a  copy  of  it.  You  will  see  then, 
that  a  copy  of  it  be  put  into  the  hands  of  Farel,  that  I  may  get 
back  this  my  autograph.  I  know  that  what  I  have  written  is 
nothing  but  some  few  trifles  or  other  which  I  have  collected, 
and  which  are  alike  unworthy  of  me  to  write  and  of  you  to 
read,  especially  as  they  are  circulated  by  public  report.  A  few 
days  ago  I  received  a  letter  from  Paolo  Vergerio,  with  a  history 
of  Francis  Spira,  which  he  desired  to  be  published  here.'^     He 

'  The  preceding  letter. 

"Francis  Spira,  a  jurisconsult  of  Padua,  having  abjured  the  Protestant  faith 
through  fear  of  the  tortures  of  the  Inquisition,  died  a  short  while  afterwards  in  a 
state  of  fearful  mental  anxiety.  Paolo  Vergerio,  an  aged  Bishop  of  Pola  in  Istria, 
who  was  led  to  give  up  his  bishopric  that  he  might  live  in  the  free  profession  of 
the  doctrines  of  the  gospel,  among  the  Grisons,  visited  Spira  on  his  deathbed,  and 
endeavoured  in  vain  to  console  this  unhappy  penitent.  The  history  of  Spira, 
written  by  Vergerio,  and  translated  from  the  Italian  into  Latin  by  Celio  Secondo 


246  FAREL.  [1549. 

states  that  he  was  compelled  to  go  into  exile,  chiefly  because 
the  Pope,  enraged  by  this  publication,  was  laying  insidious 
stratagems  for  his  life.  He  is  living  at  present  among  the 
Ehsetians.  He  says,  however,  that  he  is  strongly  inclined  to 
visit  us.^  The  history  I  have  not  yet  examined  thoroughly. 
So  far,  however,  as  I  may  judge  of  such  a  communication,  it 
seems  to  be  written  with  a  little  more  prudence  and  sobriety 
than  were  those  epistles  [of  his]  which  Celio  translated.  When 
I  shall  have  examined  it  more  carefully,  I  must  consider  what 
preface  I  should  write  to  it.  Adieu,  most  worthy  brethren  and 
friends.  May  God  preserve  you  and  your  families,  and  con- 
tinue to  guide  you  by  his  Spirit  even  to  the  end! — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

l^Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  the  University  of  Ley  den.} 


CCLII.— To  Farel.'^ 

Criticism  on  a  work  by  Farel. 

Geneva,  1st  September  1549. 

You  will  learn  from  your  brother  that  the  painful  case  of 

Curione,  was  published  in  1550,  ■with  a  preface  by  Calvin. — (Miscellanea  Gronhigana, 
torn.  iii.  p.  109.)  We  have  not  met  with  this  edition,  which  is  become  extremely 
rare. 

'  We  find  Calvin's  opinion  of  Vergerio  at  greater  length,  in  a  letter  to  Farel  of 
July  1550. 

"  Endowed,  according  to  the  testimony  of  his  contemporaries,  with  a  powerful  and 
impetuous  eloquence  which  charmed  multitudes,  and  which,  with  the  strong  faith 
with  which  he  was  animated,  could  alone  explain  his  splendid  success  as  a  missionary, 
Farel  was  abler  with  the  tongue  than  with  the  pen,  and  his  various  writings,  called 
forth  by  circumstances,  are  in  general  defective.  We  find  in  them  a  few  ideas,  cast 
forth  at  hazard,  without  plan,  in  strange  disorder,  and  with  a  superabundance  of  ex- 
planation, in  adifi'use  and  obscure  style.  It  is  not  uninteresting  to  know  the  judgment 
which  Calvin  pronounced  upon  the  works  of  his  friend,  and  to  find  in  this  judgment 
even  a  new  testimony  to  the  brotherly  candour  which  presided  at  all  times  over  the 
intercourse  of  the  two  Reformers. — See  on  the  writings  of  Farel,  Senebier,  Hist.  Litt. 
torn.  i.  pp.  148,  149;  Sayous,  Etudes  sur  les  Eerivains  de  la  Reformation,  torn,  i.,  1st 
ik«tch ;  and  Haag,  France  Protestante,  Art.  Farel. 


15-19.]  FAREL.  247 

Ferron  has  been  renewed.'  Bullinger,  as  you  will  observe, 
writing  previous  to  receiving  my  letter,  had  good  hopes  of  pub- 
lishing a  union.  I  make  honourable  mention  of  you  in  my 
preface;  even  if  it  should  give  pain  to  the  wicked,  they  must 
nevertheless  swallow  it  in  silence.  I  have  written  nothing  re- 
garding your  book,^  as  I  laid  the  whole  burden  on  Viret.  I 
said  from  the  first,  what  is  true,  that  I  mistrusted  my  own 
judgment  regarding  your  writings,  seeing  that  our  mode  of 
writing  is  so  different.  You  know  with  what  respect  I  regard 
Augustine.  Not,  however,  because  I  disguise  from  myself  how 
much  his  prolixity  dissatisfies  me.  Perhaps  my  style,  in  the 
mean  time,  is  over-concise.  But  I  am  not  at  present  discussing 
which  is  best.  For  I  have  not  confidence  in  myself  [to  do  so], 
for  this  reason,  that  whilst  I  follow  my  own  inclination,  I  had 
rather  pardon  than  condemn  others.  Normandie — who  is  so 
great  a  friend  of  mine,  that  he  is  a  great  friend  of  yours  also — 
will  furnish  the  best  testimony  as  to  what  I  think  of  your  book. 
I  am  only  afraid  that  the  involved  style  and  tedious  discussion 
will  obscure  the  light  which  is  really  in  it.  I  know,  and  that 
not  without  pleasure  too,  that  nothing  but  what  is  excellent  is 
expected  from  you.  I  speak  without  flattery.  Your  book 
seems  to  deserve  a  place  among  [works  of]  that  class.  But 
because  the  readers  of  our  time  are  so  fastidious,  and  not  pos- 
sessed of  great  acuteness,  I  should  wish  the  language  to  be  so 
managed,  that  one  might  allure  them  by  the  fluency  of  his  ex- 
pression, and  bring  forward  at  the  same  time,  that  erudition 
which  lies  concealed  under  those  coverings  of  which  I  have 
spoken.  This  is  my  candid  judgment.  Although  I  prefer 
acquiescing  in  theopinion  of  Viret,  yet  I  could  not  be  altogether 
silent,  seeing  that  you  had  already  insisted  on  it  for  the  second 
time.  Your  brother  will  let  you  know  about  our  affairs. 
Adieu,  brother  and  very  honest  friend,  with  all  your  fellow- 

'  See  Note  1,  p.  223. 

^  The  only  work  of  Farel's  mentioned  at  this  date  by  Senebier,  is  the  following  : 
Le  Glaive  de  la  Parole  Veritable  coittre  le  Bouch'er  de  Difense,  duquel  un  Cordelier 
a'eat  voxdu  servir,  in  12ino,  Geneva,  1550.  It  is  a  vehement  reply  to  a  Cordelier  who 
had  adopted  the  sentiments  of  that  spiritual  mysticism  which  leads  to  a  denial  of  all 
morality.  It  presents,  besides,  the  ordinary  defects  of  the  works  of  Farel — confusion 
and  prolixity. 


24b  viRET.  [1549. 

ministers,  especially  Christopher,  and  Michael  Faton.    May 
the  Lord  ever  guide  and  watch  over  you. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

M.  Normandie'  sends  kindest  greeting  to  you. 
[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  107a.] 


CCLIII.— To  ViRET. 

First  mention  of  Theodore  Beza — poverty  of  Calvin's  colleagues. 

bth  Septemher  1549. 

I  understand  that  Eustace,  on  his  return,  had  some  conver- 
sation with  you  regarding  two  professors  whom  he  knew  about. 
While  some  deference  is  due  to  the  judgment  of  a  pious  and 
learned  man,  yet  I  dare  not  trust  it  absolutely.  Consider  the 
matter  calmly,  therefore,  along  with  the  brethren.  For  I  have 
promised  that  I  will  write  to  you  in  no  other  way  than  to  give 
you  a  faithful  advice.  The  Piedmontese  author  of  the  long 
epistle  is  no  better  known  to  me  than  to  you ;  so  we  may  wish 
him  well  when  he  asks  nothing  more  from  us.  I  have  written 
to  Farel  my  opinion  of  his  book.^  But  it  happened,  through 
the  negligence  of  his  brother  Claudius,  that  the  letter  was  not 
delivered ;  for  after  he  had  breakfasted  with  us,  I  retired  to  my 
library,  and  he  went  away  without  saluting  me.  I  have  a 
messenger  here,  however,  who  will,  I  hope,  set  out  to-morrow. 
Kormandie  can  tell  you  how  faithfully  I  endeavoured  to  send 
Beza^  to  you.     I  do  not  care  for  mentioning  others.     Yea,  and 

'  Laurent  de  Normandie,  a  Picard  gentleman,  and  Procurator-general  at  Noyon, 
had  retired  to  Geneva  some  months  previously,  at  the  request  of  Calvin,  his  country- 
man and  friend. — Registers  of  the  Council,  2d  May  1549.  "Laurent  de  Normandie 
retires  to  this  place  for  the  sake  of  religion,  and  presses  the  Council  to  receive  him  as 
an  inhabitant,  which  is  granted  him." 

"  See  the  preceding  letter. 

'  This  is  the  first  time  the  name  of  Beza  is  found  mentioned  in  the  correspond- 
ence of  Calvin.  Born  on  the  24th  of  June  1519,  at  Vezelay,  in  Burgundy,  he  had 
left  Paris  after  a  brilliant  and  dissipated  youth,  to  retire  to  Geneva. — Refjistevs  of 
the  Council,  3d  May  1549.  "Eight  French  gentlemen,  among  whom  is  Theodore 
Beza,    arrive   here    and   obtain    permission    to   remain."     Beza   was    a  short    time 


1549.]  HALLER.  249 

the  indiviJual  in  question  knows  that  I  have  entreated  him 
almost  importunately.  Should  he  return  I  will  not  cease  to 
urge  him.  The  monks  are  wrong,  however,  in  asserting  that 
my  associates  are  wealthy.  For  the  only  one  who  may  be 
thought  rich  is  involved  in  debt  with  three  or  four: — I  mean 
Cop.  Abel  and  Des  Gallars  are  rich  in  books ;  Bourgouia 
and  Ra3'mond  have  excellent  daughters,  but  nothing  more. 
But  even  if  they  do  not  speak  to  him,  we  will  consult  the  good 
of  the  Church  rather  than  our  regard  for  him.  I  think  you 
know  of  Renier's  wishes  ;  and  I  know  that  he  is  so  beloved  by 
you  and  by  the  right-minded,  that  you  will  be  especially 
anxious  to  find  work  for  him  adapted  to  his  capacity. 

Adieu,  most  upright  brother  and  friend,  together  with  your 
wife,  your  little  daughter,  and  your  whole  family.  IMay  the 
Lord  keep  you  and  guide  you  by  his  Spirit!  Salute  the 
brethren  earnestly  in  my  name. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Laf.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Gotha.     Vol.  404,  p.  16.] 


CCLIV.— To  John  Haller.' 

A  Reformer's  complaints  on  the  malevolence  of  the  Bernese  ministers. 

Geneva,  2Qth  November  1549. 

I  beg  you,  my  dear  Ilaller,  not  to  take  it  amiss  that  I  ask 

afterwards,  made  Professor  of  Greek  in  the  Academy  of  Lausanne,  from  which  place 
he  wrote  to  BuUinger: — "The  Lord  has  shewn  me  this,  in  the  first  place,  for  which 
may  I  be  able  to  make  my  boast  in  him  continually, — that  I  must  prefer  the  cross  to 
my  country,  and  to  all  changes  of  fortune.  In  the  next  place,  I  have  received  the 
friendship  of  Calvin,  Viret,  Musculus,  and  Haller ;  kind  Heaven,  the  friendship  of 
such  men  !  When  I  think  that  these  are  my  friends,  so  far  from  feeling  any  incon- 
venience from  exile,  I  may  adopt  the  saying  of  Themistocles, — '  Perieram  nisi  periis- 
sem.' " — 31SS.  of  Archiven  of  Zurich,  Gest.  vi.  p.  L'?9. 

'  "To  John  Haller,  Pastor  of  the  Bernese  Church." 

John  ILaller,  of  the  illustrious  family  of  that  name,  which  reflected  so  much  honour 
on  Switzerlajid,  was  born  at  Zurich  in  1523,  and  became  a  minister  at  the  age  of  nine- 
teen, as  he  informs  us  himself  in  his  Chronicle.  He  became  the  colleague  of  Muscu- 
las,  at  Augsburg,  in  1545,  was  recalled  to  Zurich  three  years  afterwards,  and,  yield- 
ing to  the  pressing  solicitations  of  the  Seigneury  of  Berne,  undertook  the  duties  of  a 
32 


250  HALLER.  [1549. 

you  to  discliarge  the  present  duty  for  me,  as  I  shall  impose  a 
new  burden  on  you,  by  and  by,  to  provide,  viz.,  for  the  trans- 
mission of  my  letter  to  Zurich.  Conrad  Curio,  who  is  at  pre- 
sent schoolmaster  at  Zurtolphi,  got  me  to  become  security  for 
him  with  a  certain  bookseller.  My  reminding  him  of  it  has 
been  hitherto  useless,  and  I  am  now  pulling  his  ears  a  little 
more  smartly,  lest  I  pay  the  penalty  of  his  negligence.  I  send 
a  letter  to  be  safely  delivered  to  him  at  an  early  period,  which 
may  be  done  without  trouble  to  yourself.  Had  I  not  been 
convinced  of  your  love  toward  me,  I  should  not  have  ventured 
to  impose  any  burden  on  you.  Would  that  I  had  the  same 
confidence  in  all !  But  I  see  that  Satan  has  too  much  influence 
among  those  who  wish  to  be  regarded  as  ministers  of  Christ, 
when  Hotman'  was  lately  refused  a  place  among  the  deacons, 
for  which  I  can  see  no  other  reason  than  that  he  was  for  some 
time  my  coadjutor.  But  although  I  am  his  familiar  companion, 
he  ought  not  [on  that  account]  to  injure  the  pious  and  the 
learned.  Those  unscrupulous  individuals  who  go  about  raging 
so  wildly  will  never  cause  me  to  regret  the  labour  which  I 
incur  in  behalf  of  the  Church.  They  will  assuredly  bring 
upon  themselves  equal  odium  and  reproach  from  all  good  men. 
I  shall  defer  the  rest  for  two  days  or  four. 

Adieu,  distinguished  sir,  and  very  dear  brother  in  Christ, 
deserving  of  my  regard.  May  the  Lord  guide  you  and  your 
family ! — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Led.  copy. — Imperial  Library  of  Diipiiy.    Vol.  102.] 

minister  of  that  church  in  1548.  His  zeal  and  talents,  together  with  his  prudence, 
which  was  remarkable  in  one  so  very  young,  raised  him  to  the  highest  offices  ,•  and 
before  he  was  quite  twenty-nine,  he  was  chosen  president  of  the  clergy  of  Berne,  an 
office  which  he  filled  for  a  long  period  amidst  very  trying  circumstances. — Ruchat, 
torn.  V.  p.  329,  et  auiv. 
■  See  note  2,  p.  224. 


1549.]  WOLFGANG  MUSCULUS.  251 


CCLY. — To  Wolfgang  Musculus.' 

Prohibition   of  tlio  Vaudois  Conferences — remonstrances  on  the  intolerance  of  the 
Bernese  ministers  towards  those  of  France. 

Geneva,  28(A  Nov.  1549. 

If  your  senate  had  reasons  for  forbidding  the  ministers  to 
assemble  in  future,  according  to  their  custom,  to  confer  upon 
the  Scriptures,  it  seems  to  me  that  I  have  formed  a  correct 
opinion  of  them.  But  I  deny  that  this  was  a  useful  remedy. 
I  have  heard  that  there  were  never  any  contentions  at  Lausanne 
until  that  madman  resolved  upon  perpetually  harassing  the 
Church.  Every  one  will  admit  that  such  meetings  are  an  ex- 
cellent institution;  and  experience  has  hitherto  shown  that 
they  have  not  been  without  a  tolerable  amount  of  fruit.  The 
negligence  of  those  who  attend  more  to  other  things  than  to 
sacred  literature,  is  there  best  detected.  Such  are  at  least 
stimulated  by  shame,  and  all  derive  benefit.  It  is  certainly 
unjust  that  for  one  man's  fanlt — for  the  wantonness  of  one 
idler — men  are  to  be  deprived  of  a  beneficial  exercise.  It  is 
wronging  the  brethren  also,  to  visit  upon  all  the  transgression 
of  one  individual,  Haller  once  saw  an  appearance  of  quarrel- 
some wrangling.  But  who  fanned  the  flame?  who  supplied 
the  fuel?  It  is  well  known  that  as  long  as  Zebedee  was  allowed 
to  rage  there  with  impunity,  the  brethren  were  harassed  with 
perpetual  contentions.'^  Why  was  there  not  a  check  put  to  his 
fury,  as  there  might  quickly  have  been?     Whence  arose  his 

'  The  ministers  of  the  Pays  de  Vaud  were  accustomed  to  meet  weekly  to  consult 
about  religious  matters,  and  for  mutual  exhortation.  This  custom  displeased  tha 
Seigneurs  of  Berne,  who  abolished  it  by  an  edict  dated  2d  September  1549,  under  pre- 
test that  those  assemblies,  instead  of  producing  edification,  engendered  disputes, 
divisions,  and  disorders.  The  College  of  Lausanne  protested  in  vain,  through  Viret, 
against  this  measure,  which  obtained  the  approbation  of  the  leading  ministers  of  Berne, 
notwithstanding  the  strong  representations  addressed  by  Calvin  to  Ilaller  and  Mus- 
cuhis. — Ruchat,  torn.  v.  p.  382,  et  suiv. 

"  Deposed  from  the  ministry,  and  appointed  Principal  of  the  College  of  Lausanne, 
Zebodec  ranked  among  the  most  violent  adversaries  of  Viret  and  of  Calvin.  Nume- 
rous testimonies  to  his  animosity  against  the  Reformation  will  be  found  in  the  sequel. 


252  WOLFGANG   MUSCULUS.  [1549. 

sbameless  audacity?  If  you  do  not  know,  there  are  too  many 
among  ourselves  who  have  helped  thus  to  puff'  up  his  arrogance. 
What  now,  if  those  very  men,  who  long  took  advantage  of  his 
rashness  that  they  might  contmue  to  harass  the  brethren,  are 
the  cause  of  the  meetings  being  prohibited?  When  you  in- 
veigh so  bitterly  against  all  the  ministers  of  our  country,  you 
seem  to  me  to  be  forgetful  both  of  your  mildness  and  your 
modesty.  As  those  grievously  err  who,  with  the  same  chalk, 
as  they  say,  whiten  the  innocent  and  the  guilty;  so,  where  is 
the  justice  of  blackening  all  with  the  same  coal?  I  admit  the 
great  deficiencies  of  many,  and  I  would  that  the  proper  amount 
of  strictness  were  exercised.  I  know  that  many  are  wicked, 
wanton,  and  virulent;  but,  believe  me,  such  are  now  permitted 
to  throw  off  the  reins.  In  the  meantime  forgive  me,  if  I  am 
indignant,  that  the  whole  French  name  is  thus  cruelly  con- 
demned. Although  I  make  no  distinction  of  nations  here,  nor 
am  I  one  who  shows  indulgence  to  the  vices  of  my  friends, 
vet  it  is  natural  that  I  should  be  better  acquainted  than  you 
are  with  their  virtues.  As  to  those  scripture  conferences 
which  have  hitherto  been  customary,  grant  us  at  least  that  old 
proverb,  "Experience  teaches  fools."  We  have  now  for  a  long 
time  had  sufficient  proof  that  the  brethren  are  benefited  by  the 
exercise  of  this  style  of  interpretation.  Now  the  less  the  in- 
terchange of  opinion,  the  greater  will  be  the  danger  from  per- 
nicious dogmatisms.  The  slothful  will  sleep  undisturbed; 
many  will  somehow  or  other  grow  godless,  or  become  degen- 
erate. This  also  has  very  great  weight  with  me,  that  all  good 
men  are  groaning  under  this  edict,  and  the  wicked  are  rejoicing. 
And  when  you  see  the  College  of  Lausanne  (to  omit  others) 
suffering  so  much  on  this  account,  it  is  surely  your  duty  to 
alleviate  their  holy  anxiety,  as  far  as  words  can  do  so.  In 
other  respects  also,  your  being  very  closely  united  is  not  more 
for  their  interest  than  for  your  own,  if  you  wish  to  benefit  the 
Church  of  God.  For,  to  be  frank  with  you,  I  was  vexed  a 
little  lately  by  the  rejection  of  Hotman,  as  I  suspected  that 
my  connection  with  him  had  done  him  harm. 

From  my  confidence  in  your  friendship,  I  expostulate  the 
more  freely  with  you  and  my  friend  Ilaller.     For  I  am  per- 


1549.]  MONSIEUR  DE   SAINT   LAURENS.  253 

suaded  that  some  things  which  trouble  me  are  displeasing  to 
you  also.  But  however  that  may  be,  I  hope  you  will  put  a  just 
and  friendly  interpretation  on  these  complaints.  Adieu,  most 
.excellent  and  accomplished  man,  and  my  revered  brother  in 
the  Lord.  May  God  keep  you  and  your  family,  and  be  ever 
present  with  you  and  guide  you! — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

My  colleagues  heartily  salute  you. 

I  thought  I  had  given  this  letter  with  others  to  the  messen- 
ger, but  after  he  left  I  discovered  ray  mistake  when  it  was  too 
late.  I  suppose  you  have  not  heard  that  the  marriage  of  the 
Duke  of  Mantua  with  the  daughter  of  Ferdinand  has  been 
celebrated  at  Papia.  It  is  yet  uncertain  who  is  to  succeed 
Paul.'  War  is  expected  in  Italy.  God  grant  that  we  may 
seek  peace  with  himself! 

[IaU.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Zoffingue.    Yol.  i.  p.  14.] 


CCLYI.— To  Monsieur  de  Saint  Laurens.* 

Statement  of  leading  articles  of  the  Reformed  Faith. 

From  Geneva,  ....  [1549  ?] 

Monsieur, — Although  I  am  personally  unknown  to  you,  still 
I  believe  you  will  not  think  it  strange  that  I  make  so  bold  as 
to  write  to  you,  having  been  requested  to  do  so  by  two  persons 
who  ought  to  insure  me  free  enough  access, — I  mean  Monsieur 
de  Saint-Martin  and  yourdaughter.  Wherefore,  also,  I  shall  for- 
bear making  further  excuses,  and  likewise  because  I  have  heard 
that  my  letters  would  not  be  unwelcome  to  you,  but  that  you 
would  have  the  patience  to  read  and  think  over  the  contents, 

'  Pope  Paul  III.  died  on  the  20th  November  1549,  of  grief  and  rage,  on  hearing 
of  the  treachery  of  his  grandson  Octave  Farnesc,  who,  to  obtain  the  restitution  of 
Parma,  joined  the  cause  of  the  Emperor  against  his  grandfather. — De  Thou,  b.  vi.  j 
Robertson,  b.  x. 

"  The  title : — To  the  father  of  Mademoiselle  de  Saint-Lorrans.  Sana  date  (1549  ?) 
This  gentleman  retired  in  the  following  year  to  Geneva. 


254  MONSIEUR   DE   SAINT   LAURENS.  [1549. 

which  gives  me  good  hope  that  you  have  the  true  seed  of  God  in 
you,  which  only  needs  to  be  cultivated  in  order  to  sprout  and 
produce  its  fruit.  Now,  as  that  is  the  end  I  propose  to  mj^self, 
that  we  may  attain  it,  I  beseech  you  above  all  chiefly  to  con- 
sider, that  it  is  the  duty  of  every  Christian,  not  to  consent  to 
the  abuses  which  reign  in  the  world,  but  rather  to  ascertain 
what  is  the  pure  truth  of  God,  with  the  purpose  of  adhering  to 
it;  further,  that  you  would  listen  to  me,  touching  the  doctrine 
which  we  hold, — not  that  I  would  make  full  and  entire  decla- 
ration of  it  to  you,  but  I  shall  merely  state  in  few  words  the 
summary  of  the  whole,  in  such  wise  that  it  will  be  easy  for  you 
to  perceive  what  is  our  principal  object.  As  to  the  first,  there 
are  very  many  who  settle  down  in  their  ignorance  and  supersti- 
tion, because  they  will  not  take  the  trouble  to  open  their  eyes 
when  the  clear  light  is  presented  to  them.  Inasmuch  as  I  do 
not  hold  you  to  be  of  that  number,  without  further  exhorta- 
tion, it  suffices  me  that  I  have  warned  you  of  the  fact.  There 
is  much  reason  that  all  Christians  should  take  care  how  they 
live  towards  God,  so  as  not  wilfully  to  deceive  themselves, 
above  all  in  a  matter  of  such  importance  as  is  the  salvation  of 
the  soul.  It  is  notorious  that  Christianity  has  been  much  cor- 
rupted and  depraved,  as  well  by  the  negligence  of  prelates,  as 
by  that  of  governors,  and  that  by  their  stupidity,  or  avarice 
and  ambition.  I  do  not  consider  that  this  corruption  is  only 
in  manners  or  morals,  but  what  is  worse,  doctrine  and  truth 
have  been  turned  into  a  lie.  The  service  of  God  has  been  pol- 
luted by  endless  superstitions.  The  order  of  Church  govern- 
ment has  been  turned  upside  down,  the  signs  and  symbols  of 
the  sacraments  so  jumbled  together,  that  all  is  confusion.  If 
everybody  does  not  perceive  that,  it  is  because  they  have  not 
brought  back  all  things  to  the  true  standard;  but  if  we  com- 
pare the  religion  and  doctrine  held  under  the  Papacy,  with  the 
pure  ordinance  of  God,  we  shall  therein  discover  more  contra- 
diction than  between  day  and  night  Therefore,  to  form  a 
right  notion,  we  must  not  pause  to  lay  stress  upon  either  the 
authority  of  princes,  oran  ancient  custom,  or  on  one'sown  under- 
standing, but  rather  look  above  all,  to  what  God  has  com- 
manded or  forbidden,  for  he  has  not  spoken  in  secret,  but  has 


1549.]  MONSIEUR   DE    SAINT   LAUKENS.  255 

desired  that  his  will  should  be  known  both  of  great  and  small. 
When  you  have  once  settled  this  point  of  submitting  yourself 
to  be  taught  of  God,  to  acquiesce  in  what  his  word  contains, 
desiring  to  know  what  is  the  right  way  of  salvation,  that  will 
be  already  a  good  step  towards  arriving  at  the  full  knowledge 
of  what  it  is  for  our  advantage  to  know. 

The  second  request  that  I  have  said  I  had  to  make,  is  that 
you  consider  calmly  the  sum  of  our  doctrine,  when  I  shall  have 
shortly  stated  it  to  you  ;  for  there  are  many  who  at  once  reject 
and  condemn  it,  without  having  heard  what  it  is,  because  they 
are  prejudiced  against  us,  which  warps  their  judgment.  I  pass 
over  the  imputations  and  crimes  which  they  lay  against  us,  to 
make  us  odious  to  all  the  world ;  but  do  what  they  will,  they 
cannot  reproach  us  with  having  any  other  end  than  to  gather 
in  the  people  who  have  long  been  going  astray,  and  to  bring 
them  back  to  their  standard,  which  is  the  pure  word  of  God. 
We  demand,  however,  that  all  differences  of  opinion  be  deter- 
mined by  an  appeal  to  that,  and  that  every  one  abide  by  what 
we  know  to  be  the  will  of  God.  Our  adversaries  make  them- 
selves a  buckler  of  the  name  of  the  Church,  which  they  falsely 
assume.  And  it  is  the  same  conflict  which  in  their  time  the 
prophets  and  apostles  had  with  those  who  usurped  pre-emi- 
nence in  the  Church,  belying  in  all  things  the  duties  of  their 
office.  But  we  know  that  the  Church  is  founded  on  the  doc- 
trine of  the  prophets  and  apostles,  and  that  she  ought  to  be 
united  to  Jesus  Christ,  her  head,  who  is  without  variableness. 
So  therefore  it  is  but  a  bastard  church  where  God's  doctrine 
does  not  reign  as  the  rule.  Following  that  rule,  we  desire 
that  God  may  be  served  according  to  his  commandments,  and 
we  reject  all  new-fangled  ways  invented  to  suit  the  appetite  of 
men  ;  for  it  is  not  lawful  for  men  to  impose  law  or  statute  upon 
conscience,  and  God  moreover  has  reserved  to  himself  this 
privilege,  to  ordain  for  us  whatsoever  seemeth  good  unto  him- 
self. Therefore  it  is,  that  we  are  accused  of  having  abolished 
and  trampled  under  foot  the  ordinances  of  our  mother,  holy 
Church,  for  example  when  we  say  with  Isaiah  and  Jesus  Christ, 
that  it  is  in  vain  we  think  to  find  out  God  by  means  of  human 
traditions;  then,  when  we  say  with  St.  James,  that  there  is 


256  MONSIEUR   DE   SAINT  LAURENS.  [1549. 

but  one  Lawgiver,  who  is  able  to  save  and  to  destroy.  Well, 
then,  when  you  had  searched  to  the  very  utmost,  you  would 
find  that  all  which  is  among  them  called  the  worship  of  God, 
is  nothing  but  pure  invention  forged  at  their  own  pleasure.  In 
like  manner,  because  the  Holy  Scripture,  treating  of  our  sal- 
vation, and  wherein  rests  our  whole  trust  and  confidence  in 
regard  to  it,  sends  us  back  to  the  sole  grace  of  our  Lord  Jesus 
Christ,  declaring  that  we  are  poor  wretched  sinners,  utterly 
lost  and  useless  for  good,  we  endeavour  to  bring  all  the  world 
to  partake  of  this  grace ;  and  that  it  may  be  acknowledged  and 
magnified  as  it  behoves  to  be,  and  which  cannot  be  done  with- 
out casting  down  the  false  belief  that  we  can  do  aught  to  merit 
paradise.  They  take  occasion  on  this  account  to  accuse  us  of 
making  no  account  of  good  works,  whereby  they  do  us  wrong; 
for  we  are  far  more  careful  to  recommend  holy  living,  than  are 
any  of  our  adversaries.  But  in  order  that  men  may  not  deceive 
themselves  by  an  overweening  confidence,  we  teach  that  we  are 
able  to  do  nothing  whatever  in  our  own  strength,  unless  God 
guides  us  by  his  Holy  Spirit,  and  that  even  when  we  had  done 
all,  this  would  afford  a  far  too  feeble  ground  whereon  to  found 
our  justification;  that  we  must  therefore  have  continual  recourse 
to  the  mercy  of  God,  and  to  the  merit  and  passion  of  Jesus 
Christ ;  and  that  it  is  there  that  we  must  rest  our  hope,  making 
no  account  of  all  the  rest.  Thence  it  comes,  that  we  say  likewise, 
that  we  ought  to  address  God  in  all  our  prayers,  for  he  calls 
us  to  himself,  and  forasmuch  as  we  of  ourselves  are  too  vile 
and  unworthy  to  draw  near  to  him,  he  hath  given  us  his  Son 
Jesus  Christ  for  our  Advocate.  Therefore  it  is,  that  they  re- 
proach us  with  our  hostility  to  the  saints  of  both  sexes,  and 
that  we  forbid  the  honouring  of  them.  But  this  is  absurd,  for 
we  render  to  the  saints  the  honour  which  God  assigns  them. 
Only  we  cannot  bear  that  they  should  be  made  idols  of,  being 
set  up  instead  of  God,  or  of  his  Son  our  Saviour,  which  besides 
they  do  not  ask,  but  on  the  contrary  take  to  be  a  great  wrong; 
for  those  things  which,  under  shadow  of  devotion,  are  done  with 
the  view  of  pleasing  them,  they  seek  vengeance  before  God. 

The  sacraments,  which  ought  to  serve  for  our  confirmation 
in  the  truth  of  God  and  in  his  fear,  have  been  strangely  per- 


1550,]  THE    PROTECTOK   SOMERSET,  257 

verted.  When  we  set  ourselves  carefully  to  restore  them  to 
their  true  use  and  first  original,  they  would  have  it  believed 
that  we  are  going  to  destroy  them.  But  would  they  only  look 
to  the  ordinance  as  it  has  been  instituted  by  the  Master,  it 
would  then  be  quite  evident  that  the  manner  of  observance 
which  we  practise,  does  not  derogate  in  anything  from  what 
he  has  prescribed.  True  it  is,  we  have  not  the  mass  as  among 
them,  but  we  have  the  Supper  such  as  Jesus  Christ  has  left  it 
to  us,  and  our  adversaries  can  say  nothing  to  the  contrary,  only 
they  object  their  custom  as  a  reason  for  everything,  but  we 
have  another  kind  of  buckler  altogether,  which  is  the  com- 
mandment that  must  endure  inviolable  to  the  end  of  the  world. 
Do  this,  saith  the  text,  zintil  I  come.  Whereby  it  follows,  that 
whosoever  attempt  to  change  anything  until  the  coming  of 
our  Lord  Jesus,  prove  themselves  rebels  against  him.  I  should 
be  over-tedious  were  I  to  follow  out  the  other  details  which  I 
omit  mentioning  to  you,  because  it  shall  well  suffice  me,  if  it 
please  God  to  lead  you  to  concur  in  what  I  have  herein  lightly 
handled,  in  the  hope  that  by  more  ample  reading  you  may  be 
yet  more  confirmed  in  the  same  purpose.  And  now,  therefore, 
Monsieur,  having  humbly  commended  me  to  your  kind  favour, 
I  beseech  our  good  Lord  to  guide  you  by  his  Spirit,  to  make 
you  conformable  in  everything  to  his  will,  and  to  send  what  he 
knows  to  be  good  and  wholesome  for  you. — Your  servant, 

Charles  D'Espeville. 

\Fr.  Copy,  Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  107.] 


CCLVII. — To  THE  Protector  Somerset.' 

Congratulations  on  the  royal  favour  shown  to  the  Duke  of  Somerset — use  to  be  made 
of  his  influence  for  spreading  the  Gospel  in  England. 

Janurnvj  1550. 

Monseigneur, — That  I  have  so  long  delayed  to  write  to  you, 

'  On  the  back,  in  the  hand  writing  of  Calvin  :  "  To  Monsieur  the  Protector  of  Eng- 
land.—  Sent," 

This  letter  was  addressed  to  the  Earl  of  Somerset  after  his  first  disgrace. — (Seo  the 
33 


258  THE   PROTECTOR  SOMERSET.  [1550. 

Las  been  from  no  want  of  good-will,  but  to  my  great  regret  I 
have  refrained,  fearing  lest,  during  the  troubles  which  have 
been  of  late,  my  letters  should  be  the  occasion  of  annoyance.  I 
thank  my  God  that  he  has  now  afforded  me  the  opportunity 
which  hitherto  I  have  been  waiting  for.  It  is  not  I  alone  who 
rejoice  at  the  good  issue  which  God  has  given  to  your  affliction, 
but  all  true  believers,  who  desire  the  advancement  of  the  king- 
dom of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  forasmuch  as  they  know  the 
solicitude  with  which  you  have  laboured  for  the  re-establishing 
of  the  Gospel  in  all  its  purity  in  England,  and  that  every  kind 
of  superstition  might  be  abolished.  And  I  do  not  doubt  that 
you  are  prepared  to  persevere  in  the  same  course,  in  so  far  as 
you  shall  have  the  means.  On  your  own  part,  Monseigneur, 
not  only  have  you  to  acknowledge  the  favour  God  has  shown 
you  in  stretching  out  his  hand  for  your  deliverance,  but  also 
to  bear  his  dealing  with  you  in  remembrance,  that  you  may 
profit  by  it.'  I  know  the  regret  which  you  may  well  enter- 
tain, and  how  you  may  be  tempted  to  render  the  like  to  those 
whom  you  reckon  to  have  meditated  greater  mischief  against 
you  than  what  has  come  to  pass.  But  you  know  the  admoni- 
tion which  Saint  Paul  has  given  us  on  that  head,  that  is,  that 
we  have  not  to  fight  against  flesh  and  blood,  but  against  the 
hidden  wiles  of  our  spiritual  enemy.  "Wherefore  let  us  not 
waste  our  energies  upon  men,  but  rather  let  us  set  ourselves 
against  Satan  to  resist  all  his  machinations  against  us,  as 
there  is  no  doubt  whatever  that  he  was  the  author  of  the  evil 
which  impended  over  you,  in  order  that  the  course  of  the 
Gospel  might  thereby  be  hindered,  and  even  that  all  should 

letter  of  the  22d  October  1548,  and  the  Note  p.  275.)  Set  at  liberty,  the  6th  February 
1550,  by  the  favour  of  the  king  his  nephew,  he  resumed  his  place  in  the  Privy  Coun- 
cil, but  losing  the  title  and  dignity  of  Protector.  The  letter  of  Calvin  is  without  any 
doubt  of  February  or  March  1550. 

'  During  his  disgrace,  which  was  regarded  as  a  public  calamity  by  the  friends  of 
the  Reformation  in  England  and  throughout  Europe,  the  Duke  of  Somerset  had  sought 
consolation  in  reading  and  in  pious  meditations.  He  translated  into  English  a  work 
on  Patience,  to  which  he  added  a  preface  containing  the  expression  of  the  most  ele- 
vated sentiments.  He  received  also  exhortations  from  Peter  Martyr,  and  shewed 
himself  no  less  constant  in  his  attachment  to  the  Gospel,  than  resigned  to  the  loss  of 
fortune  and  credit. — See  Burnet,  History  of  the  Reformation,  vol.  ii.  p.  184;  vol.  iii. 
p.  209,  fol.  London. 


1550.]  THE   PROTECTOR  SOMERSET.  259 

be  brought  to  confusion.  Therefore,  Monseigneur,  forgetting 
and  pardoning  the  faults  of  those  whom  you  may  conceive  to 
have  been  your  enemies,  apply  your  whole  mind  to  repel  his 
malice  who  thus  engaged  them  to  their  own  destruction  in  set- 
ting themselves  to  seek  your  ruin.  This  magnanimity  will  not 
only  be  pleasing  to  God,  but  it  will  make  you  the  more  loved 
among  men ;  and  I  do  not  doubt  that  you  have  such  regard  to 
that  as  you  ought.  But  if  your  humane  disposition  itself  im- 
pels you  to  this  course,  so  much  the  more  may  I  be  confident 
that  you  will  receive  kindly  what  I  say,  knowing  that  nothing 
induces  me  to  tender  such  advice  to  you,  but  the  love  I  bear 
you,  and  the  care  which  I  have  for  your  honour  and  welfare. 
And  besides,  it  is  so  difl&cult  a  virtue  so  to  overcome  our 
passions  as  to  render  good  for  evil,  that  we  can  never  be  too 
much  exhorted  to  do  so.  Moreover,  seeing  that  the  Lord  has 
directed  the  issue  so  much  better  than  many  expected,  keep  in 
mind,  Monseigneur,  the  example  of  Joseph.  It  would  be  difii- 
cult  to  find  in  our  day  such  a  mirror  of  integrity.  For  he, 
seeing  that  God  had  turned  to  good  the  evil  which  they  had 
plotted  against  him,  is  unwearied  in  showing  himself  the  min- 
ister of  the  goodness  of  God  towards  his  brethren  who  had 
persecuted  him.  This  victory  will  be  more  glorious  than  that 
which  God  has  already  given  you,  when  he  saved  and  secured 
your  person,  and  your  property,  and  your  honours.  However, 
Monseigneur,  you  have  also  to  consider  that  if  God  has  been 
pleased  to  humble  you  for  a  little  while,  it  has  not  been  with- 
out a  motive.  For  although  you  might  be  innocent  in  regard 
to  men,  you  know  that  before  this  great  heavenly  Judge  there 
is  no  one  living  who  is  not  chargeable.  Thus,  then,  it  is  that 
the  saints  have  honoured  the  rod  of  God,  by  yielding  their  neck, 
and  bowing  low  their  head  under  his  discipline.  David  had 
walked  very  uprightly,  but  yet  he  confessed  that  it  had  been 
good  for  him  to  be  humbled  by  the  hand  of  God.  For  which 
reason,  as  soon  as  we  feel  any  chastisement,  of  whatsoever  kind 
it  may  be,  the  first  step  should  be  to  retire  into  ourselves,  and 
well  to  examine  our  own  lives,  that  we  may  apprehend  those 
blessings  which  had  been  hidden  from  us:  for  sometimes  too 
much  prosperity  so  dazzles  our  eyes,  that  we  cannot  perceive 


260  THE  PROTECTOE   SOMERSET.  [1550. 

wherefore  God  chastises  us.  It  is  but  reasonable  that  we 
should  do  him  at  least  as  much  honour  as  we  would  to  a 
physician,  for  it  is  his  to  heal  our  inward  maladies,  which  are 
unknown  to  ourselves,  and  to  pursue  a  course  of  healing,  not 
according  to  our  liking,  but  as  he  knows  and  judges  to  be 
fitting.  What  is  more,  it  must  needs  happen  sometimes  that 
he  makes  use  of  preservative  remedies,  not  waiting  till  we  have 
already  fallen  into  evil,  but  preventing  it  before  it  comes.  God, 
besides  your  native  rank,  having  assigned  you  a  high  dignity, 
has  performed  great  things  by  your  hand,  and  which  shall 
possibly  be  more  applauded  after  your  death  than  they  are 
duly  appreciated  during  your  lifetime.  Moreover,  'he  has 
caused  his  name  to  be  magnified  by  you.  Now,  the  most 
virtuous  and  excellent  persons  are  in  greater  danger  than  any 
others  of  being  tempted  to  forget  themselves.  You  are  aware, 
Monseigneur,  of  what  is  written  concerning  the  good  King 
Hezekiah,  that  after  having  performed  such  memorable  actions, 
as  well  for  religion  and  the  worship  of  God  as  for  the  common 
weal  of  the  country,  his  heart  was  lifted  up.  If  God  has  been 
pleased  to  prevent  that  in  you,  it  is  a  special  favour  he 
has  shown  you.  "Were  there  no  other  reason  for  it,  save  that 
he  would  be  glorified  in  your  deliverance,  and  that  he  would 
be  recognized  by  you,  as  well  as  by  all  in  your  person,  as  the 
true  protector  of  his  own,  that  alone  ought  to  be  all-sufiicient 
to  you. 

It  remains,  Monseigneur,  that  since  he  has  thus  given  you 
the  upper  hand,  you  do  render  homage  to  him  for  this  benefit, 
as  is  due.  If  we  are  recovered  out  of  a  dangerous  sickness,  we 
ought  to  be  doubly  careful,  and  to  honour  this  merciful  God, 
just  as  if  he  had  bestowed  a  new  life  upon  us.  You  may  not 
do  less  in  your  present  circumstances.  Your  zeal  to  exalt  the 
name  of  God,  and  to  restore  the  purity  of  his  Gospel,  has 
been  great.  But  you  know,  Monseigneur,  that  in  so  great  and 
worthy  a  cause,  even  when  we  have  put  forth  all  our  strength, 
we  come  very  far  short  of  what  is  required.  However,  if  God, 
in  thus  binding  you  to  himself  anew,  has  meant,  in  this  way, 
to  induce  you  to  do  better  than  ever,  your  duty  is  to  strive  to 
the  uttermost  and  with  all  your  energy,  so  that  so  holy  a  work 


1550.]  THE   PROTECTOR  SOMERSET.  261 

as  that  which  he  has  begun  by  you  may  be  carried  forward. 
I  doubt  not  that  you  do  so  ;  but  I  am  also  confident,  that  know- 
ing the  affection  which  induces  me  to  exhort  you  thereunto, 
you  will  receive  all  my  solicitation  with  your  wonted  benignity. 
If  the  honour  of  God  be  thus  esteemed  by  you  above  all  else, 
he  will  assuredly  watch  over  you  and  your  whole  household, 
to  pour  out  his  grace  there  more  abundantly,  and  will  make 
you  know  the  value  of  his  blessing.  For  that  promise  can 
never  fail, — Those  ivlio  honour  me,  I  will  render  honourable. 
True  it  is,  that  those  who  best  do  their  duty  are  oftentimes 
troubled  the  most  by  many  violent  onsets.  But  this  is  quite 
enough  for  them,  that  God  is  at  hand  to  succour  and  relieve 
them.  Now,  although  it  is  enough  for  you  to  look  to  God  and 
to  feel  the  assurance  that  your  service  is  pleasing  to  him,  never- 
theless, Monseigneur,  it  is  a  great  comfort  to  you  to  see  the 
king  so  well  disposed  that  he  prefers  the  restoration  of  the 
Church,  and  of  pure  doctrine,  to  everything  else,  seeing  it  is  a 
virtue  greatly  to  be  admired  in  him,  and  a  peculiar  blessing  for 
the  kingdom,'  that  in  a  youth  of  such  tender  age  the  vanities 
of  this  world  do  not  hinder  the  fear  of  God  and  true  religion 
from  ruling  in  his  heart.  This  also  ought  to  be  a  great  help 
and  confirmation,  that  you  discharge  the  principal  service 
which  he  desires  and  asks,  in  serving  our  heavenly  King,  the 
Son  of  God. 

Monseigneur,  having  very  humbly  commended  me  to  your 
kind  favour,  I  beseech  our  good  Lord,  that,  upholding  you  in 
his  holy  keeping,  he  would  increase  in  you  yet  more  and  more 
the  gifts  of  his  Holy  Spirit,  for  the  furtherance  of  his  own 
glory,  so  that  we  may  all  have  whereof  to  rejoice. 

Your  very  humble  servant,  John  Calvin. 

[Fr.  orig.  mimde. — Lihrarij  of  Geneva.    Vol.  107,  a.] 

•  The  young  King  Edward  VI.  Instructed  by  the  most  able  masters,  this  prince 
gave  early  proof  of  a  strong  mind  and  of  a  lively  piety.  When  scarcely  fourteen  years 
of  age,  he  set  forth  in  a  discourse,  of  which  a  fragment  has  been  preserved,  the  plan 
of  the  Reformation  in  England.  lie  drew  up  with  much  caro  a  journal  of  events 
which  happened  during  his  reign.  He  composed,  besides,  a  collection  of  passages  of 
the  Old  Testament  condemning  idolatry  and  image-worship.  This  collection,  written 
in  French,  was  dedicated  by  the  young  King  to  the  Duke  of  Somerset,  his  uncle. — Bur- 
net, Uistonj  of  the  Reformation,  vol.  ii.  pp.  224,  225. 


262  FAREL.  [1550. 

CCLVIII.— To  Farel. 

Tidings  from  Germany  and  England — recommendation  of  a  domestic. 

Geneva,  Ist  February  1550. 

Although  you  have  not  had  a  long  letter  from  me  for  a  con- 
siderable time,  yet  I  do  not  think  that  even  now  I  have  any- 
thing new  to  write  to  you.  All  the  time  that  our  friend 
Thomas  was  here,  I  was  either  suffering  severely  from  a  cough 
or  annoyed  by  catarrh.  A  violent  headache  is  now  tormenting 
me,  although  it  has  been  easier  for  the  past  hour.  It  is  well 
that  I  am  not  prevented  from  labouring,  in  a  kind  of  way,  to 
discharge  my  necessary  duties  ;  but  I  usually  make  but  slow 
progress.  Much  of  my  time  is  wasted,  at  present,  by  ill  health, 
which  ought  to  be  devoted  to  useful  labour.  We  hear  nothing 
from  Germany,  except  that  the  Lord  has  punished  the  Emperor 
by  the  destruction  of  some  of  his  ships.  Would  that  some 
disease  would  put  a  check  upon  his  evil  deeds !  You  know 
that  the  tutor  of  the  English  king  has  been  set  at  liberty,  and, 
I  suppose,  you  are  aware  also  of  what  happened  to  my  letter.' 

The  prefect  of  C having  got  it  from  the  messenger  took  it 

into  the  palace ;  he  afterwards  restored  it  to  the  messenger, 
who,  before  giving  it  to  the  king's  tutor,  presented  it  to  [the 
Archbishop]  of  Canterbury,  to  ask  his  advice.  He  returned  it 
to  him  again  after  retaining  it  two  days.  The  messenger,  fear- 
ing that  that  was  done  insidiously,  or  that  he  was  bringing 
upon  his  own  head  the  very  danger  which  others  were  so 
anxiously  avoiding,  presented  it  to  the  King's  Council,  although, 
as  I  hear,  he  was  advised  to  do  that  by  good  and  wise  men. 
I  expect  an  answer  immediately.  Whatever  may  turn  up,  I 
shall  see  to  it  that  you  be  made  acquainted  with  it. 

Whether  it  is  owing  to  the  indolence  of  John  Girard  that 
your  book  is  not  yet  printed,^  or  from  the  confused  state  of  his 
affairs  at  home,  or  because  he  has  made  deliberate  choice  of 
many  things  before  it,  I  dare  not  affirm.     I  have  certainly 

'  The  letter  to  the  Protector,  of  January  1550. 
»  See  Note  3,  pp.  240-1. 


1550.]  FAREL.  263. 

spoken  to  him  frequently  on  the  matter,  and  he  has  made 
serious  protestations  about  it.  Normandie  also  has  repeatedly 
ordered  him  to  get  on  with  it.  So  the  Institute^  which  should 
have  been  completed  a  month  ago,  is  not  finished  yet.  I  wished 
to  make  this  brief  statement  to  you,  to  let  you  koow  that  I 
had  not  been  neglectful.  He  is  not  particularly  moved  by  my 
reproving  him,  except  that  he  immediately  promises  to  do  it 
forthwith. 

Adieu,  brother  and  very  worthy  friend.  May  the  Lord  by 
his  Spirit  continue  to  guide  you,  and  may  he  watch  over  you 
and  your  family!  You  will  salute  your  fellow-ministers 
cordially  in  my  name,  especially  Faton  and  your  colleague. 

The  short  Treatise  on  the  Sanctification  of  the  Infants  of 
Pious  Parents,  and  on  Female  Baptism,  is  being  printed, 
although  it  did  not  require  more  than  two  days'  labour.'  As 
to  what  you  fear  of  the  venomous  creatures  which  I  have  irri- 
tated giving  forth  some  poison,  I  am  quite  easy  on  that  score. 
Adieu  again. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

I  understand  that  you  require  a  maid-servant, — neither  your- 
self nor  your  brothers  told  me  so.  However,  having  heard  it 
from  others,  I  wish  to  tell  you  that  there  is  a  woman  here  who 
is  pious,  upright,  and  careful,  and  advanced  in  years,  who 
would  gladly  serve  you  if  she  could  be  of  use  to  you. 

All  your  friends  salute  you  kindly,  especially  M.  Norman- 
die, yet  this  does  not  detract  from  the  regard  of  the  others — 
from  that  of  Verron,  for  instance,  the  writer  of  the  present 
letter. 

\Lat.  orig. — Library  of  Gotlia.     Vol.  404,  fol.  5.] 

"  The  Reformer  having  attacked  the  Interim  in  one  of  his  writings,  was  accused 
of  Pelagianism  by  a  German  theologian,  perhaps  Flacius  Illyricus.  He  replied  to  this 
accusation  in  a  publication  entitled.  Appendix  Lihelli  de  vera  Ecclceice  re/onnnndce 
ratione,in  qua  refutat  Censuram  quamdam  typographi  ignoti  de  parvulorum  Sanctiji- 
catione  et  muliebri  Daptismo.     Geneva,  1550. 


264  FAREL.  [1550. 

CCLIX.— To  Fakel. 

Election  of  a  new  Pope. 

Sd  March  1550. 

I  am  glad  that  wortliy  man  has  at  length  so  far  listened  to 
rational  advice  as  to  yield  to  you.  One  must  overlook  what 
difficulty  he  occasioned  for  some  time,  only  he  should  try  to 
make  up  for  his  slowness  by  assiduity  when  he  has  once  ar- 
rived. This  I  expect  he  will  be  entirely  prepared  to  do.  For 
I  know  him  to  be  an  upright  man  and  one  who  is  diligent  iu 
his  business.  I  know  that  he  will  be  so  commended  to  you 
that  there  is  no  need  of  words  [from  me.]  His  wife  will  get 
accustomed  to  it  by  degrees.  He  brings  two  boys  with  him, 
of  whom  the  one  is  the  son  of  a  very  excellent  and  very  upright 
man,  the  other  is  a  grandson  of  Pommier's  brother.  When 
they  reach  you,  let  them  understand  that  you  will  attend  to 
them.  I  shall  faithfully  discharge  my  duty  to  the  son  of  M. 
Michael  Schalter.     I  have  just  now  received  your  letter. 

The  Pope  who  has  been  created  ought  to  be  an  extraordi- 
nary monster,  seeing  that  the  best  of  workmen  have  wrought 
so  long  at  the  forging  of  him.'  Nor  indeed  could  a  fitter  than 
Julius  have  been  fallen  upon,  as  the  moderator  of  the  Council 
of  Trent. 

Adieu,  brother  and  very  honest  friend.  May  the  Lord 
Jesus  sustain  you !  Salute  the  brethren  earnestly,  especially 
my  co-patriot,  Christopher  Muloti,  Faton,  and  the  rest.  Adieu 
again. — Yours, 

John  Calvin 

[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.     Vol.  107,  a.] 

'  The  pontifical  chair,  rendered  vacant  in  the  month  of  November  1549,  by  the 
death  of  Paul  III.,  was  occupied  in  the  month  of  February  of  the  following  year  by 
the  Cardinal  del  Monte,  who  took  the  name  of  Julius  III.  The  irregularities  of  his 
past  life,  and  the  disgraceful  accusations  which  rested  on  his  character,  rendered  him 
very  unfit  to  be  a  reformer  of  the  Church. 


1550.]  DRYANDER.  265 


CCLX. — To  Francis  Dryander.' 

Counsels  and  encouragements — collection  of  commentaries  on  Isaiah  by  Des  Gallars. 
,  Geneva,  1th  Murch  1S50. 

I  am  liappy  that  you  have  returned  safely  from  England. 
If  your  affairs  here  are  satisfactory  and  prosperous,  and  the 
Lord  is  providing  you  with  employment,  I  am  the  more  de- 
lighted, although,  as  matters  now  stand  everywhere,  it  becomes 
us  so  to  walk  in  the  world  that  we  may  be  willing  forthwith  to 
depart.  England  seems  as  yet  unsettled.  Elsewhere,  what- 
ever was  satisfactorily  established  appears  now  to  decay.  So 
that,  unless  we  can  preserve  our  patience,  we  shall  nowhere 
find  the  aspect  of  affairs  so  pleasing  as  to  prevent  us  from  long- 
ing for  a  change.  This  is  every  day  more  and  more  the 
experience  of  myself,  whose  struggle  you  suppose  is  almost  con- 
cluded. For  I  am  perpetually  disturbed  by  new  contentions, 
and  new  sources  of  annoyance  and  disgust,  to  such  a  degree, 
that,  were  a  free  choice  allowed  me,  I  would  prefer  any  lot  to 
groaning  continually  under  so  grievous  a  burden.  The  Lord 
has  adorned  you  with  genius  and  learning;  he  has  gifted  you 
with  a  zealous  and  magnanimous  spirit.  We  must  pray  that 
he  will  not  suffer  these  rich  endowments  to  lie  unimproved. 
I  know,  indeed,  that  hitherto  you  have  endeavoured  to  make 
your  life  useful  to  the  Church,  and  that  your  attempts  have  not 
been  without  fruit.  But  I  desire  that  your  gifts  may  be  more 
fully  displayed,  and  I  trust  that  they  will.  My  meditations  on 
Isaiah,  which  you  say  are  expected,  will  shortly  be  published. 
The  composition  of  the  work,  however,  is  Des  Gallars',  for,  as  I 

•  On  the  back :  "  To  the  very  Illustrious  M.  Francis  Dryander,  a  Spaniard,  at  Basic, 
■witb  M.  JNIyconius." 

Dryaniler  left  Strasbourg  (for  England)  in  1548.  Melanchthon  gave  him  letters  of 
introduction  to  King  Edward  and  to  Cranmer,  by  whose  patronage  he  obtained  a 
Chair  in  the  University  of  Cambridge. — (Zurich  Letters,  first  series,  torn.  i.  p.  349.) 
At  the  end  of  the  following  year  (December  1549)  we  find  Dryander  in  Strasbourg 
again.  AVhat  were  his  motives  for  returning  to  the  Continent  cannot  now  bo  ascer- 
tained. See  the  notice  of  Dryander,  p.  111. 
34 


266  COLLADON.  [1550. 

have  but  little  time  for  writing,  he  jots  down  to  my  dictatioa 
and  arranges  his  materials  afterwards  at  home.  I  then  make 
a  revision  of  it,  and  wherever  he  has  missed  my  meaning  I 
restore  it.  When  my  letter  reaches  you,  I  expect  the  treasurer 
of  our  city  will  be  there  also,  and  will  remain  for  two  days.  If 
you  have  any  news  he  will  be  glad  to  convey  them.  I  have 
nothing  to  say  to  MM.  Myconius  and  Sulzer  till  thev  answer 
my  last.  Eemember  me,  however,  to  them  and  to  Oporinus. 
My  colleagues  desire  me  to  salute  you  cordially.  I  pray  for 
all  joy  and  prosperity  to  your  wife  wherever  she  is. 

Adieu,  illustrious  sir.     May  the  Lord  continue  to  guide  you 
by  his  Spirit,  and  be  ever  present  with  you ! — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Archives  ofilie  Protestant  Seminary  of  Strasbourg.'] 


CCLXI. — To  Nicolas  Colladon.^ 

Settlement  of  the  Colladon  family  at  Geneva. 

12th  May  1550. 

I  have  at  present  no  other  reason  for  writing  you  than  that 
I  thought  it  absurd  that  a  messenger,  sent  with  difficulty  hither 

*  "  To  Nicolas  Colladon,  a  man  distinguished  for  piety  and  learning." 
Among  the  numerous  French  refugees  whom  persecution  led  yearly  to  Geneva,  there 
were  none  more  distinguished  than  the  members  of  the  Colladon  family,  originally 
from  Berry,  where  they  occupied  an  eminent  position,  and  are  reckoned,  even  in  our 
own  day,  among  the  number  of  the  Genevese  aristocracy.  Nicolas  Colladon,  to  whom 
the  letter  of  the  Reformer  is  addressed,  was  the  son  of  Leon  Colladon,  the  celebrated 
parliamentary  advocate  of  Bourges,  who,  with  his  brother  Germain,  retired  to  Geneva 
in  the  early  part  of  the  year  1551.  Long  initiated  in  evangelical  doctrine,  Nicolas 
Colladon  continued  to  exercise  those  pastoral  functions  in  his  adopted  country,  which 
he  had  previously  performed  in  Berry.  In  1564  he  was  made  Principal  of  the  College 
of  Geneva,  and  in  1566  succeeded  Calvin  himself  in  the  chair  of  theology,  without 
ceasing  to  discharge  his  pastoral  duties  with  a  zeal  which,  during  the  plague  of  1570, 
found  a  perilous  opportunity  of  signalizing  itself.  He  spent  the  last  years  of  his  life 
in  the  Canton  de  Vaud.  The  precise  date  of  his  death  is  not  known.— Senebier,//^is<. 
Litt.,  torn.  i.  p.  398.  Galiffe,  Notices  GMaloyiquea,  torn.  ii.  p.  566;  and  Haag,  Franee 
Proteatante,  Art  Colladon. 


1550.]  COLLADON.  267 

from  so  intimate  a  friend,  and  on  business  well  known  to  me, 
should  return  without  a  letter  from  me.  I  was  afraid,  also, 
at  the  same  time,  lest  your  brother  should  entertain  unpleasant 
suspicions  should  he  hear  that  I  had  been  altogether  silent. 
My  friend  Laurent  at  present  declines  the  journey  to  which 
you  urge  him ;  his  excuse  is  brief,  but  such  as  we  both  hope 
will  abundantly  satisfy  you.  I  will  only  add  this  from  him, 
that  he  was  as  far  as  possible  from  seeking  any  excuse  for  not 
visiting  you,  I  assure  you  that  his  inclination  is  in  no  respect 
altered;  but  having  seriously  pondered  the  whole  matter,  I 
dare  not  advise  him  to  leave  his  home  at  present.  It  is  well, 
however,  that  those  with  whom  you  invited  him  to  confer  are 
disposed  to  entertain  a  removal.'  And,  indeed,  they  can  ac- 
complish nothing  in  this  aSair  without  coming  to  us.  For  as 
the  girl  is  engaged  in  marriage  here,^  it  would  be  too  hazard- 
ous for  them  to  remain  at  home.  It  will  be  your  duty,  there- 
fore, to  urge  them  to  collect  their  baggage,  and  prepare  for  the 
journey.  This  may  at  first  sight  appear  ridiculous,  as  if,  in  a 
matter  so  difficult  and  perplexing,  I  fancied  everything  was 
easily  managed.  I  am  not  so  inexperienced,  however,  as  to  be 
ignorant  of  the  obstacles,  embarrassments,  and  delays  with 
which  you  must  struggle.  This  only  I  wish,  since  the  matter 
admits  of  no  delay,  that  you  would  exert  yourself  vigorously 
in  discharging  your  duty. 

Adieu,  beloved  brother  in  the  Lord.  Salute  your  relatives 
kindly  in  my  name,  both  the  father  and  all  the  families.  May 
God  direct  you  with  the  Spirit  of  wisdom  and  fortitude;  may 
he  be  present  with  you  and  further  all  your  pious  efforts! 
Amen. — Yours, 

Charles  Passelius. 

[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Yol.  107,  a.] 

'  In  allusion  to  the  various  members  of  the  Colladon  family,  who  were  contemplating 
a  removal  to  Geneva. 

"  Anne  OoUadon,  the  sister  of  Nicolas,  was  on  the  point  of  being  married  to  Laurent 
de  Normandie.    See  Note  1,  p.  217. 


268  THE   SEIGNEURY   OF   GENEVA.  [1550. 


CCLXII. — To  THE  Seigneury  of  Geneva.^ 

Notice  of  a  publication  attributed  to  Gruet. 

[May  1550.] 

Seeing  tbat  it  has  pleased  Messieurs  to  ask  my  opinion  re- 
garding the  book  of  Gruet,  it  appears  to  me,  that  in  the  first 
place,  they  ought  in  regular  judicial  form  to  identify  the  hand- 
writing, not  so  much  for  the  condemnation  of  the  individual, 
who  is  quite  enough  condemned  already,  as  for  the  conse- 
quences which  may  ensue;  as  well  in  order  that  it  may  not 
be  thought  that  they  have  been  lightly  moved  on  account  of 
an  uncertain  book,  as  for  the  sake  of  adherents  and  accom- 
plices. 

That  being  done,  I  think  that  the  suppression  of  the  book 
itself  ought  not  to  appear  to  be  for  the  sake  of  burying  it  out 
of  sight,  but  be  accompanied  by  a  testimony  that  they  had 
looked  upon  it  with  such  detestation  as  it  deserved,  and  that 
it  was  done  for  the  sake  of  example  only. 

It  is  true,  that  seeing  we  ought  to  abstain  from  all  filthy 
communication,  and  that  nothing  of  that  kind  ought  to  proceed 
out  of  our  mouth, — such  blasphemous  and  execrable  speeches 
ought  not  to  be  repeated,  as  if  we  had  no  horror  of  them  at  all ; 
but,  in  obedience  to  the  rule  which  our  Lord  has  given  in  his 
law,  it  is  for  the  common  weal  that  faithful  magistrates  spe- 
cially define  the  impieties  which  they  punish.  Besides,  Mes- 
sieurs are  well  aware  how  necessary  it  is,  for  many  reasons 
which  I  leave  for  them  to  consider,  although  God's  ordinance 
regarding  it  ought  to  be  all-sufficient  for  us. 

'  Three  years  after  tbe  death  of  Gruet,  beheaded  for  the  crime  of  rebellion  and  of 
blasphemy,  (see  the  note  p.  226,)  there  was  discovered  in  a  garret  of  his  house  a  writ- 
ing in  his  own  hand,  of  twenty-six  pages,  which  was  brought  to  the  magistrates  of 
Geneva.  These  latter  submitted  the  document  to  Calvin,  who  drew  up  his  opinion  in 
the  Memorial  which  we  here  reproduce,  as  an  undeniable  evidence  of  the  religious  doc- 
trines and  the  morals  professed  by  some  of  the  chiefs  of  the  Libertin  party. 

The  writing  in  question  was  condemned,  the  23d  May  1550,  as  being  full  of  the 
most  detestable  blasphemies,  and  was  burnt  by  the  band  of  the  hangman  in  front  of 
the  house  of  Gruet. 


1550.]  THE   SEIGNEURY   OF   GENEVA.  269 

The  form,  under  correction,  wliicli  we  should  recommend, 
is  that  there  should  be  a  preamble  or  narrative  something  like 
what  follows : — 

That  whereas,  in  such  a  year,  and  on  such  a  day,  Jacques 
Gruet,  as  well  on  account  of  hideous  blasphemies  against  God, 
and  mockery  of  the  Christian  religion,  as  because  of  wicked 
conspiracy  against  the  public  state  of  this  city,  mutinies  and 
other  crimes  and  malpractices,  had  been  condemned  to  such  a 
punishment,  it  has  since  come  to  pass  that  a  book  has  been 
found  in  his  own  handwriting,  as  has  been  ascertained  upon 
sufficient  evidence,  in  which  are  contained  many  blasphemies, 
so  execrable,  that  there  is  no  human  creature  who  ought  not 
to  tremble  at  the  hearing  of  them,  and  wherein  he  makes  a 
mock  at  the  whole  of  Christianity,  so  far  as  to  say  of  our  Lord 
Jesus  Christ,  the  Son  of  God  and  King  of  Glory,  before  whose 
majesty  the  devils  are  constrained  to  bow  down  themselves, 
that  he  was  an  idle  beggar,  a  liar,  a  fool,  a  seducer,  a  mis- 
chievous wicked  person,  an  unhappy  fanatic,  a  clown  full  of 
vain-glorious  and  wicked  presumption,  who  well  deserved  to 
be  crucified ;  that  the  miracles  which  he  had  performed  were 
nought  but  sorceries  and  apish  tricks,  and  that  he  deemed 
himself  to  be  the  Son  of  God,  in  like  manner  as  the  Hierarchs 
weened  themselves  to  be  in  their  Synagogue ;  that  he  played 
the  hypocrite,  having  been  hung  as  he  deserved,  and  died 
miserably  in  his  folly,  a  thoughtless  coxcomb,  great  drunkard, 
detestable  traitor,  and  suspended  malefactor,  whose  coming 
into  the  world  has  brought  nothing  but  all  sorts  of  wicked- 
ness, disaster,  and  confusion,  and  every  sort  of  reproach  and 
outrage  which  it  is  possible  to  invent : 

He  has  said  of  the  Prophets,  that  they  have  been  only  fools, 
dreamers,  fanatics ;  of  the  Apostles,  that  they  were  rascals,  and 
knaves,  apostates,  dull  blockheads,  brainless  fellows ;  of  the 
Virgin  Mary,  that  it  is  rather  to  be  presumed  that  she  was  a 
strumpet;  of  the  law  of  God,  that  it  is  worthless,  like  those 
who  luive  framed  it ;  of  the  Gospel,  that  it  is  nothing  but  false- 
hood ;  that  the  whole  of  Scripture  is  false  and  wicked,  and  that 
there  is  less  meaning  in  it  than  there  is  in  ^sop's  fables,  and 
that  it  is  a  false  and  foolish  doctrine : 


270  MELANCHTHON.  [1550. 

And  not  only  does  lie  thus  villanously  attack  our  holy  and 
sacred  Christian  religion,  but  he  also  renounces  and  abolishes 
all  religion  and  divinity,  saying  that  God  is  nothing,  repre- 
senting men  to  be  like  to  the  brute  beasts,  denying  eternal 
life,  and  disgorging  execrations,  the  like  of  which  ought  to 
make  the  hair  stand  up  upon  the  head  of  every  one,  and  which 
are  of  such  rank  infection  as  to  bring  a  whole  country  under 
the  curse,  so  that  all  people  of  every  degree,  having  any  sound 
conscience  at  all,  ought  to  ask  pardon  of  God  that  his  name 
has  been  thus  blasphemed  among  them. 

In  conclusion,  it  appears  to  me  that  sentence  ought  to  be 
given  in  such  or  similar  form  as  follows : — 

That  whereas  the  writer  of  the  said  book  has  been,  by  judi- 
cial sentence,  condemned  and  executed,  yet,  in  order  that  the 
vengeance  of  God  may  not  abide  upon  us  for  having  suffered 
or  concealed  such  horrible  impiety,  and  also  as  an  example  to 
all  accomplices  and  adherents  of  a  sect  so  infectious  and  worse 
than  diabolical,  even  to  shut  the  mouth  of  all  those  who  would 
excuse  or  cover  such  enormities,  and  to  show  them  what  con- 
demnation they  deserve,  Messieurs  have  ordained     .     .     &c. 

The  sooner  this  is  done  the  better,  for  already  this  unhappy 
book  has  been  too  much  in  the  hands  of  these  gentlemen.  .  . . 
[JFV.  orig.  autogr. — Coll.  of  the  Chevalier  Engard  at  Geneva.] 


CCLXIII.— To  Melanchthon.J 

Controversies  excited  in  Germany  by  the  establishment  of  the  Interim — Brotherly 

reproofs. 

[18«^  Ju7ie  1550.] 

The  ancient  satirist  once  said, — 

"  Si  natura  negat,  facit  indignatio  versum." 

It  is  at  present  far  otherwise  with  me.  So  little  does  my  present 

'  The  proclamation  of  the  Interim  plunged  Germany  into  a  state  of  extraordi- 
nary confusion.  Some  towns  were  so  bold  as  to  present  remonstrances  to  the 
Emperor,  and  protested  against  an  arbitrary  edict,  which  reprobated  alike  the 
partisans  of  the  ancient  worship  and  those  of  the  new.     But  their  voice  was  not 


1550.]  MELANCHTHOX.  271 

grief  aid  me  in  speaking,  tlaat  it  rather  renders  me  almost 
entirely  speechless.  Besides,  as  I  cannot  express  in  words  how 
my  mind  is  affected,  being  overcome  with  merely  thinking  on 
the  subject  on  which  I  am  about  to  write,  I  am  almost  struck 
dumb.  I  would  have  you  suppose  me  to  be  groaning  rather 
than  speaking.  It  is  too  well  known,  from  their  mocking  and 
jests,  how  much  the  enemies  of  Christ  were  rejoicing  over  your 
contests  with  the  theologians  of  Magdeburg.'  They  certainly 
presented  afoul  and  abominable  spectacle,  as  well  to  the  Lord 
and  the  angels,  as  to  the  whole  Church.  If  no  blame  attaches 
to  you  in  this  matter,  my  dear  Philip,  it  would  be  but  the  dic- 
tate of  prudence  and  justice,  to  devise  a  means  of  curing  the 
evil,  or  at  least  of  somewhat  mitigating  it.  Yet,  forgive  me  if 
I  do  not  consider  you  altogether  free  from  blame.  And  from 
this  you  may  conjecture  how  severe  the  judgments  of  others 
are  concerning  you,  and  how  ofi'ensive  and  unpleasant  their 
remarks.  In  the  mean  while,  let  it  be  well  understood,  that  in 
openly  admonishing  you,  I  am  discharging  the  duty  of  a  true 
friend ;  and  if  I  employ  a  little  more  severity  than  usual,  do 
not  think  that  it  is  owing  to  any  diminution  of  my  old  affection 
and  esteem  for  you.     Although  for  me  to  offend  by  rude  sim- 


heard,  and  the  greater  number  of  the  towns  submitted.  There  were  even  theologians 
compliant  enough  to  legitimize  this  subniission.  Of  this  number  was  Melanchthon, 
who,  by  his  virtues  and  his  knowledge,  deserved  the  first  rank  among  the  Reformed 
doctors,  but  who,  deprived  now  of  the  manly  exhortations  of  Luther,  and  led  away 
by  an  excessive  love  of  peace,  and  by  the  natural  weakness  of  his  character,  was 
making  concessions  which  cannot  be  justified.  Led  by  his  example,  and  seduced  by 
the  artifices  of  the  Elector  Maurice,  the  Assembly  of  Leipsic  declared  that  in  matters 
purely  indifferent  we  ought  to  obey  the  orders  of  our  lawful  superiors, — a  dangerous 
principle,  which  applied  to  ceremonies,  and  led  to  the  revival  of  the  grossest  and 
most  pernicious  errors  of  the  Romish  Church.  Melanchthon  himself  wrote  a  great 
number  of  the  letters  of  Aiia^opn^  [indifferent],  in  support  of  this  doctrine,  and  his 
weakness  drew  down  upon  him  the  most  violent  reproaches  from  the  zealous  Luthe- 
rans, who  accused  him  of  being  an  accomplice  of  the  enemies  of  the  Gospel. — Slei- 
dan,  book  xxii. ;  Robertson,  book  x.  Moved  by  this  sad  news,  Calvin  did  not  hesi- 
tate to  blame  Melanchthon  in  a  letter  addressed  to  him,  in  which  respect  and  afi'ection 
are  joined  to  a  just  severity. 

•  The  town  of  Magdeburg,  then  besieged  by  the  army  of  the  Elector  Maurice,  per- 
sisted in  rejecting  the  Interim,  and  the  theologians  of  that  Church  flooded  Gcrmnny 
with  pamphlets,  in  which  Melanchthon  was  not  spared.  The  Burghers  of  Magdeburg, 
put  under  the  ban  of  the  empire,  sustained  a  long  siege,  and  did  not  submit  till  the 
following  year. — Sleidan,  book  xxii. 


272  MELANCHTHON.  [1550. 

plicitj,  rather  than  bespeak  by  adulation  the  favour  of  any  man, 
is  nothing  uncommon  or  new  to  you,  I  also  feel,  on  the  other 
hand,  less  anxiety  about  your  taking  it  amiss  to  be  reproved  by 
me  when  I  have  just  cause  for  displeasure,  inasmuch  as  I  am 
well  aware  that  nothing  gives  you  greater  pleasure  than  open 
candour.  I  am  truly  anxious  to  approve  all  your  actions,  both 
to  myself  and  to  others.  But  I  at  present  accuse  you  before 
yourself,  that  I  may  not  be  forced  to  join  those  who  condemn 
you  in  your  absence.  This  is  the  sum  of  your  defence :  that 
provided  purity  of  doctrine  be  retained,  externals  should  not 
be  pertinaciously  contended  for.'  And  if  it  be  true  that  is 
confidently  asserted  everywhere,  you  extend  the  distinction  of 
non-essentials  too  far.  You  are  not  ignorant  that  the  Papists 
have  corrupted  the  worship  of  God  in  a  thousand  ways.  We 
have  put  up  with  corruptions  which  were  barely  tolerable. 
The  ungodly  now  order  these  same  things  to  be  restored,  that 
they  may  triumph  over  a  down-trodden  gospel.  And  if  any 
one  does  not  hesitate  to  oppose  this,  will  you  not  ascribe  it  to 
pertinacity  ?  Every  one  knows  how  this  is  opposed  to  your 
modesty.  If  you  are  too  facile  in  making  concessions,  you  need 
not  wonder  if  that  is  marked  as  a  fault  in  you  by  many. 
Moreover,  several  of  those  things  which  you  consider  indiffer- 
ent, are  obviously  repugnant  to  the  word  of  God.  Perhaps 
there  are  some  who  insist  too  positively  on  certain  points,  and, 
as  usually  happens  in  disputes,  make  offensive  attacks  upon 
some  things  which  have  little  harm  in  themselves.  Truly  if  I 
have  any  understanding  in  divine  things,  you  ought  not  to  have 
made  such  large  concessions  to  the  Papists ;  partly  because  you 
have  loosed  what  the  Lord  has  bound  in  his  word,  and  partly 
because  you  have  afforded  occasion  for  bringing  insult  upon  the 
Gospel.     At  a  time  when  circumcision  was  as  yet  lawful,  do 

'  In  a  reply  to  Flacius  Illyricus,  who  maintained  that,  rather  than  tolerate  the 
restoration  of  the  Popish  ceremonies,  he  would  plunder  and  destroy  the  Churches 
and  stir  up  the  people, — "vastitatetn  faciendam  in  tempHa,  et  inetu  seditionum 
terrendoa  principes."  Melanchthon  advocated  immovalle  ateadfaatnesa  in  doctrine, 
suhmiaaion  in  everything  elae.  — "  /»i  ceremotiiia  tolerandam  aliquam  aervitxitem, 
quae  tamen  ait  aine  impietate."  —  Melch.  Adam.  Vita  Melanchthonia,  ■p.  344.  But 
was  it  possible  to  submit  to  the  Church  of  Rome  without  deserting  sound 
doctrine  ? 


1550,]  MELANCHTHON.  278 

you  not  see  that  Paul,  because  crafty  and  malicious  fowlers 
were  laying  snares  for  the  liberty  of  believers,  pertinaciously  re- 
fused to  concede  to  them  a  ceremony  at  the  first  instituted  by 
God?  Accordingly,  he  boasts  that  he  did  not  yield  to  them, 
no  not  for  a  moment,  that  the  truth  of  the  Gospel  might  remain 
intact  among  the  Gentiles.  In  our  day,  indeed,  the  enemy  has 
not  troubled  us  about  circumcision,  but  that  they  may  not  leave 
us  anything  pure,  they  are  tainting  both  doctrine  and  every 
exercise  of  worship  with  their  putrid  leaven.  As  for  the  theo- 
logians of  Magdeburg,  you  say  that  they  were  only  raising  dis- 
putes about  a  linen  vesture.  I  do  not  see  the  force  of  this.  I 
certainly  think  the  use  of  the  linen  vesture,  with  many  other 
fooleries,  has  been  hitherto  retained  as  much  by  you  as  by 
them.  And,  indeed,  good  and  pious  men  everywhere  deplore 
that  you  should  have  countenanced  those  corruptions  which 
manifestly  tend  to  destroy  the  purity  of  all  doctrine,  and  to  un- 
dermine the  stability  of  the  Church.  Lest  you  may  perhaps 
have  forgotten  what  I  once  said  to  you,  I  now  remind  you  of 
it,  namely,  that  we  consider  our  ink  too  precious  if  we  hesitate 
to  bear  testimony  in  writing  to  those  things  which  so  many  of 
the  flock  are  daily  sealing  with  their  blood,  I  spoke  thus, 
indeed,  at  a  time  when  we  seemed  to  be  farther  out  of  the  reach 
of  missiles  [than  at  present].  And  seeing  that  the  Lord  led  us 
forth  into  the  arena,  it  became  us  on  that  account  to  strive  the 
more  manfully.  Your  position  is  different  from  that  of  many, 
as  yourself  are  aware.  For  the  trepidation  of  a  general  or 
leader  is  more  dishonourable  than  the  flight  of  a  whole  herd  of 
private  soldiers.  Accordingly,  while  the  timidity  of  others  may 
be  overlooked,  unless  you  give  invariable  evidence  of  unflinch- 
ing steadfastness,  all  will  say  that  vacillation  in  such  a  man 
must  not  be  tolerated.  You  alone,  by  only  giving  way  a  little, 
will  cause  more  complaints  and  sighs  than  would  a  hundred 
ordinary  individuals  by  open  desertion.  And,  although  I  am 
fully  persuaded  that  the  fear  of  death  never  compelled  you  in 
the  very  least  to  swerve  from  the  right  path,  yet  I  am  appre- 
hensive that  it  is  just  possible,  that  another  species  of  fear  may 
have  proved  too  much  for  your  courage.  For  I  know  how 
much  you  are  horrified  at  the  charge  of  rude  severity.  But  we 
35 


274  MELANCHTHON.  [1550. 

must  remember,  that  reputation  must  not  be  accounted  by  the 
servants  of  Christ  as  of  more  value  than  life.  We  are  no  better 
than  Paul  was,  who  held  fearlessly  on  his  way  through  "evil 
and  good  report."  It  is  indeed  a  hard  and  disagreeable  thing 
to  be  reckoned  turbulent  and  inflexible, — men  who  would  rather 
see  the  whole  world  in  ruin,  than  condescend  to  any  measure  of 
moderation.  But  your  ears  should  have  been  deaf  to  such  talk 
long  ago.  I  have  not  so  bad  an  opinion  of  you,  nor  will  I  do 
you  the  injustice,  to  suppose  that  you  resemble  the  ambitious, 
and  hang  upon  the  popular  breath.  Yet  I  have  no  doubt  but 
that  you  are  occasionally  weakened  by  those  goadings.  What  ? 
Is  it  the  part  of  a  wise  and  considerate  man  to  rend  the  Church 
for  the  sake  of  minute  and  all  but  frivolous  matters?  Must 
not  peace  be  purchased  at  any  tolerable  amount  of  inconveni- 
ence? What  madness  is  it  to  stand  out  for  everything  to  the 
last,  to  the  neglect  of  the  entire  substance  of  the  Gospel! 
When  lately  these  and  similar  remarks  were  circulated  by  de- 
signing men,  I  thought  and  perceived  you  to  be  more  influenced 
by  them  than  you  should  have  been;  accordingly,  I  open  my 
mind  candidly  to  you,  lest  anything  should  mar  that  truly 
divine  magnanimity,  which,  in  other  respects,  I  know  you  to 
possess.  You  know  why  I  am  so  vehement.  I  had  rather  die 
with  you  a  hundred  times,  than  see  you  survive  the  doctrines 
surrendered  by  you.  Nor  do  I  say  this  as  if  there  was  danger 
lest  the  truth  of  God  made  known  by  your  ministry  should 
come  to  nought,  or  as  if  I  distrusted  your  steadfastness;  but 
simply  because  you  will  never  be  sufficiently  solicitous  lest  the 
wicked  obtain  an  occasion  of  cavilling,  which  owing  to  your 
facileness  they  eagerly  snatch  at.  Pardon  me  for  loading  your 
breast  with  these  miserable,  though  ineffectual  groans.  Adieu, 
most  illustrious  sir,  and  ever  worthy  of  my  hearty  regard.  May 
the  Lord  continue  to  guide  you  by  his  Spirit,  and  sustain 
you  by  his  might;  may  his  protection  guard  you.  Amen.' 
Salute,  I  entreat  you,  any  of  my  friends  that  are  near  you.     A 

'  Thi3  letter  is  without  diite.  We  discover  the  date,  however,  in  a  letter  of  Calvin's 
to  Valentin  Paeaeus,  a  doctor  of  Leipsic,  of  ISth  June  1550,  where  we  meet  with  these 
words  : — "I  make  no  mention  of  M.  Philip,  as  I  am  writing  specially  to  himself." — 
Calv.  Opera,  tom.  ix.  p.  64. 


1550.]  VIRET.  276 

great  number  here  respectfully  salute  you.  Multitudes,  to 
avoid  idolatry  in  France,  are  making  choice  of  a  voluntary 
exile  among  us.  John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  oriy.  autoyr. — Coll.  of  M.  Tronchin  at  Geneva.] 


CCLXIV.— To  YiRET. 

Hope  of  an  early  visit  from  Viret — projected  excursions  in  the  neighbourhood  of 

Geneva. 

Geneva,  23d  July  1550. 

When  some  one  or  other  informed  me  lately  that  you  in- 
tended coming  here  in  a  short  time,  I  snatched  eagerly  at  the 
intelligence,  just  as  if  you  had  been  bound  to  come  by  a  pre- 
vious agreement.  If  you  do  think  of  coming,  I  beseech  you, 
again  and  again,  to  stay  a  Sabbath  with  us,  for  you  could  not 
have  a  better  opportunity  during  the  whole  year.  You  will 
deliver  a  discourse  in  the  city  on  the  morning  of  the  Lord's 
day.  I  shall  set  out  for  Jussy ;  you  will  follow  me  after  dinner, 
and  we  shall  proceed  thence  to  M.  de  Falais'.'  Leaving  him 
again,  we  shall  make  a  hasty  passage  to  the  opposite  side,'* 
and  rusticate  till  Thursday  with  Seigneurs  Pommier  and  De 
Lisle.  On  Friday,  if  you  choose  to  make  an  excursion  to 
Tournet  or  Belle  Rive,  you  will  have  ray  company  also.  You 
need  not  be  afraid  of  any  unpopularity,  for  matters  have  calmed 
down  somewhat,  as  you  will  hear.  See  you  do  not  disappoint 
me.     Certainly  many  here  are  expecting  you. 

Adieu,  again  and  again,  until  you  come.  Salute  the  brethren, 
and  your  wife  and  little  daughters  at  home.  May  the  Lord 
Jesus  keep  you  all  and  watch  over  you. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

You  will  give  the  letters  to  M.  Vergerio,  to  be  delivered  to 
Zerkinden  and  Haller. 

\Lat.  orig.  aidogr. — Library  of  Geneva.     Vol.  107,  a.] 

'  See  note  2,  p.  175.  M.  de  Falais  lived  during  the  summer  in  a  country-geat, 
situated  at  Veigy,  a  small  village  of  Savoy,  a  few  leagues  from  Geneva. 

^  On  the  opposite  bank  of  the  lake,  where  riaoa  the  delightful  eminence  of  Cham- 
besy,  crowned  at  the  present  day  with  beautiful  villas. 


276  FAREL.  [1550. 


CCLXV.— To  Farel. 

Opinion  regarding  Vergerio — intelligence  regarding  Bucer — letter  to  Melanchthon — 
disputes  with  Berne — literary  publications  of  Calvin. 

July  1550. 

Although  I  have  not  been  able  to  secure  a  messenger  for  a 
long  time,  who  might  convey  my  letter  to  you  with  conveni- 
ence and  safety,  yet  I  must  really  confess  that  I  am  ashamed 
of  my  long  delay.  But  you  will  readily  excuse  me ;  and  I  can 
with  truth  declare,  that  I  would  gladly  have  written  you  on 
different  occasions  had  I  been  able  sooner  to  find  a  messenger. 
It  is  not  expedient  for  us,  in  my  opinion,  to  be  anxious  about 
our  exculpation  with  the  people  of  Zurich,  lest  some  ground- 
less suspicion  should  steal  in  upon  them.  We  shall  see  by  and 
by  whether  they  have  any  faith  in  those  clouds  of  theirs.  De- 
fence will  be  easy  then.  Let  us  in  the  meantime  cherish  our 
unanimity.  Vergerio,  Bishop  of  Pola,'  is  here  at  present ;  he 
will  not  return  to  the  Grisons,  however.  I  think  Viret  wrote 
you  concerning  him.  He  came  by  Lausanne,  and  spent  a  few 
days  in  familiar  intercourse  with  the  brethren.  There  is 
much  that  is  praiseworthy  about  him ;  and  I  hope  that  he 
will  be  steadfast  in  the  right  path.  As  I  knew  he  passed 
through  Zurich,' I  endeavoured  to  elicit  from  him  whether  he 
had  heard  of  aught  unfavourable  there.  I  could  not  scent  out 
anything,  however.  We  should  therefore  keep  quiet,  unless  a 
better  opportunity  presents  itself.  Those  who  come  from 
England,  say  that  matters  get  on  well  there.  I  have  heard 
nothing  of  Bucer,  except  that  he  seems  rather  pliant  to  some.' 

'  Paolo  Vergerio,  one  of  the  missionaries  of  Reform  in  Swiss  Italy,  Born  of  an 
illustrious  family  of  Istria,  he  had  successively  studied  law  and  oratory,  was  made 
Bishop  of  Istria,  and  discharged  the  duties  of  Pope's  legate  in  Germany.  He  became 
a  convert  to  the  Gospel  through  conversations  with  Melanchthon,  abandoned  his  dio- 
cese, and  retired  among  the  Grisons.     He  died  in  1565. 

=  There  is  a  beautiful  letter  from  Bucer  to  Calvin,  [Calvini  Opera,  torn.  ix.  p.  58,] 
dated  from  Cambridge,  and  containing  curious  details  regarding  the  religious  state  of 
England.  We  find  this  passage  in  it  relative  to  the  young  King  Edward  VI., — "  In- 
crease in  prayer  in  behalf  of  the  most  serene  King,  who  is  making  quite  wonderful 
"Progress  in  pious  and  literary  studies." 


1550.]  TAREL.  277 

There  is  a  fixed  opinion  in  the  minds  of  many  regarding  him 
which  is  not  easily  rooted  out.  It  is  not  unlikly  that  the  good 
man  feels  annoyed  by  this  prejudice.  And  whether  he  affords 
any  occasion  for  it  or  not,  I  cannot  tell.  We  shall  have  some 
word  soon.  No  change  has  taken  place  in  Saxony  as  yet. 
Should  you  feel  disposed  to  spend  a  quarter  of  an  hour,  per- 
haps, in  reading  an  epistle  in  which  I  discuss  [the  question]  of 
ceremonies,  you  will  find  a  copy  of  it  enclosed.  I  have  written 
to  Melanchthon  also  in  almost  the  very  same  strain,  but,  owing 
to  my  negligence,  it  turns  out  that  I  do  not  possess  a  copy  of 
it.'  Should  you  also  be  inclined  to  look  into  those  points  on 
which  I  recently  advised  the  Protector  of  England,  I  have  sent 
that  [document]  also.  Would  that  time  had  allowed  me  to 
seek  your  advice,  rather  than  show  you  what  I  have  now  done 
regarding  the  matter.  The  Collector  of  Finance  ^  of  the  French 
king,  who  was  in  prison,  has  cost  us  no  further  trouble.  The 
Bernese  ambassadors,  lately  sent  in  his  behalf,  were  of  some 
use,  though  of  less  than  I  could  have  wished.  They  succeeded, 
however,  in  quieting  the  mind  of  the  king.  Five  or  six  days 
after  there  comes  a  most  polite  letter,  in  which  the  king  returns 
us  his  thanks,  and  courteously  asks  us  to  release  the  captive. 
This  was  done.  By  the  wonderful  goodness  of  God,  we  are 
now  freed  from  a  source  of  anxiety  which  often  robbed  me  of 
my  sleep.  That  new  impost  which  the  Bernese  are  exacting,' 
annoys  us  sadly.  We  are  resolved  not  to  pay  it.  We  wish 
it  tried  at  law ;  our  opponents  wish  us  to  bow  to  their  autho- 
rity. Thereupon  one  evil  rises  out  of  another.  Moreover,  this 
awkward  circumstance  attends  it,  that  I  dare  not  refuse  my 
advice  to  those  soliciting  it.     I  commenced  Genesis  seven  days 


'  See  the  preceding  letter. 

"  We  find  no  allusion  to  this  fact  in  the  Registers  of  the  Council  of  that  year. 
But  Ruchat  mentions,  after  Reset,  the  arrest  of  one  Jean  Baptist*  Didaco,  Receiver- 
General  of  Finance  at  Rouen,  who,  having  been  imprisoned  at  Geneva  at  the  im- 
peachment of  one  of  his  domestics,  was  released  at  the  request  of  the  King  of  France, 
and  of  the  Bernese,  after  three  months'  imprisonment. — Ruchat,  torn.  v.  pp.  311, 
313. 

8  The  nature  of  this  tax  is  not  known ;  it  was  set  on  foot  in  the  localities  belong- 
ing to  the  ancient  territory  of  the  Chapter  of  Saint  Victor,  and  shared  between  the 
jurisdiction  of  the  two  republics. 


278  RABOT.  [1550. 

ago ;  may  it  be  auspicious !  In  tlie  meantime  Isaiah  is  called 
to  press.'  The  printers  are  at  present  busy  with  Paul,  but  I 
fear  they  have  been  longer  of  beginning  than  they  should.'^  If 
it  be  not  out  in  nine  days  hence,  it  will  have  other  companions, 
for  I  hope  that  the  book  De  Scandalis  and  the  Canonical 
Einstles  will  be  printed  during  the  coming  winter.  Adieu,  most 
upright  brother,  ever  to  be  revered  by  me  in  the  Lord.  Salute 
earnestly  your  family  and  all  the  brethren.  May  the  Lord 
watch  over  you  all  and  guide  you  by  his  Spirit ! 

John  Calvin". 

\Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Yol.  107,  a.] 


CCLXVL— To  William  Eabot.^ 

Exhortation  to  the  study  of  the  Scriptures. 

2M  July  1550. 

Although  we  have  been  unknown  to  each  other  by  sight,  yet 
since  you  recognize  the  Master  Christ  in  my  ministry,  and  sub- 
mit yourself  cheerfully  and  calmly  to  his  teaching,  this  is  a 
sufficient  reason  why  I  should,  on  the  other  hand,  esteem  you 
as  a  brother  and  fellow-disciple.  But,  as  I  understand  from 
your  letter,  that  it  is  not  very  long  since  the  Lord  shed  the 
light  of  his  gospel  on  you,  I  could  not  give  a  fitter  expression 

'  Commentarii  in  lesaiam  Prophetam.  In  fol.  Geneva,  1550.  A  work  dedicated  to 
the  King  of  England. 

"  In  omnes  Paiili  Epistolas  atque  ettam  in  Epistolam  ad  Helraeoa  Commentarii.  In 
fol.  Geneva,  1550.     With  a  preface  by  Theodore  Beza. 

^  The  title  : — To  William  Rabot,  "  Dictus  a  Salena"  of  Avignon. 

It  appears  from  a  letter  of  Rabot's  to  Calvin,  preserved  in  the  Library  of  Gotha, 
that,  exiled  from  his  native  country  from  conscientious  motives,  this  young  man  was 
then  engaged  in  the  study  of  law  at  the  University  of  Padua,  in  company  with  a 
number  of  gentlemen,  among  others  Charles  de  Jonvillers,  Francis  and  Louis  de  Bud6, 
Ac,  Their  studies  were  intermingled  with  religious  discourses,  which  contributed  to 
the  spread  of  the  Gospel  in  certain  distinguished  families,  among  which  we  remark 
that  of  Contarini,  originally  of  Padua.  The  increasing  rigours  of  persecution  soon 
scattered  this  focus  of  Evangelism,  and  led  some  of  those  youthful  missionaries  to  Ge- 
neva, where  Charles  de  Jonvillers,  one  of  their  number,  gained  the  friendship  of  Cal- 
vin, and  became  his  secretary. — Divers  3ISS.  of  Gotha  and  of  Geneva. 


1550.]  FAREL.  270 

of  my  love  towards  you,  than  by  exhorting  and  encouraging 
you  to  daily  exercises.  For  we  see  sparks  of  piety  immediately 
disappear  which  had  shone  forth  on  many  occasions ;  because, 
instead  of  increasing  the  flame,  they  rather  extinguish  what 
little  light  the  Spirit  of  God  had  enkindled  in  them,  by  the 
empty  allurements  of  the  world,  or  the  irregular  desires  of  the 
flesh.  That  nothing  of  this  kind  may  happen  to  you,  you 
must  first  of  all  give  devoted  submission  to  the  will  of  the 
Lord,  and  in  the  next  place,  you  must  fortify  yourself  by  his 
sacred  doctrines.  But  as  this  is  too  extensive  a  theme  to  be 
embraced  in  a  letter,  it  is  better  for  you  to  draw  from  the 
fountain-head  itself.  For  if  you  make  a  constant  study  of  the 
word  of  the  Lord,  you  will  be  quite  able  to  guide  your  life  to 
the  highest  excellence.  You  have  faithful  commentaries,  which 
will  furnish  the  best  assistance.  I  wish  very  much  you  could 
find  it  convenient  at  some  time  to  pay  us  a  visit;  for,  I  flatter 
myself,  you  would  never  regret  the  journey.  Whatever  you 
do,  see  that  you  follow  the  Lord,  and  at  no  time  turn  aside 
from  the  chief  end. 

Adieu,  illustrious  and  very  dear  sir. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  copy. — Archives  of  the  Protestant  Seminary  of  Strasbourg. "l 


CCLXYIL— To  Farel. 

Publication  of  the  book  on  Scandals — persecution  by  the  King  of  France — Bucer's 

discouragement. 

Geneva,  \^th  August  1550. 

How  I  am  to  repay  you  for  your  letter,  I  know  not,  unless 
that,  as  soon  as  the  Lord  shall  have  enabled  me  to  complete 
the  first  three  chapters  of  my  Commentary  on  Genesis,  I  give 
you  a  reading  of  it.  If  it  please  you,  it  will  be  worth  the 
trouble  of  plucking  the  fruit  before  the  time ;  and  besides,  I 
shall  have  the  benefit  of  your  judgment  on  the  remainder  of  the 
context,  if  you  should  think  there  is  anything  of  which  I  should 


280  FAREL.  [1550. 

be  made  aware.  The  pamphlet  Be  Scandalis,  considering  the 
immense  fulness  of  the  proof,  will  be  not  only  short  but  even 
concise.'  But  then  the  evidence  is  all  traced  back  to  this  con- 
clusion,— that  there  is  no  reason  why  ungodly  men  should 
bring  the  Gospel  into  disrepute,  and  expose  it  to  popular 
odium,  under  the  pretext  of  stumblingblocks;  and  that  the 
weak  should  be  strengthened,  in  order  that  by  the  firmness 
of  their  faith  they  may  overcome  whatever  stumblingblocks 
Satan  may  cast  in  their  way.  To  put  so  great  a  check  upon 
error,  that  should  any  one  turn  aside  from  the  right  path,  or 
stumble  or  be  disheartened,  he  may  be  without  excuse.  Yet 
I  show  at  the  same  time,  how  dreadful  a  vengeance  God  will 
take  on  the  authors  of  offences.  Meanwhile,  you  will  attack 
that  monster  when  the  signs  are  favourable,  which  I  confi- 
dently trust  you  have  already  done. 

Whatever  good  hopes  of  Henry,  Viret  led  you  to  cherish, 
they  were  vain.^  Eumours  of  this  sort  are  daily  afloat.  We 
should,  therefore,  place  no  more  reliance  on  them  than  they 
deserve.  It  is  a  sure  enough  token  that  the  ferocity  of  the 
beast  is  in  no  degree  appeased,  when  our  brethren,  so  far  from 
experiencing  any  alleviation  of  their  sufferings,  are  moreclosely 
pursued  every  day.  Another  lion  is  said  to  be  making  cer- 
tain extraordinary  exertions.^  We  should,  therefore,  ask  God 
to  subdue  their  rage,  or,  at  all  events,  to  waste  their  strength 
by  mutual  collision — as  he  has  hitherto  done — that  they  may 


'  The  Treatise  on  Scandals,  one  of  the  most  remarkable  of  Calvin's  writings  ap- 
peared this  same  year,  with  a  beautiful  dedication  addressed  by  Calvin  to  Laurent  do 
Normandie,  his  old  and  constant  friend.  It  was  published  at  first  in  Latin,  under  the 
following  title  : — De  Scandalia  quibus  hodie  plerique  absterrentur,  nnnnulli  etiam 
alienantur  a  pnra  Evangelii  Doctrina.  Geneva,  1550.  This  work  was  translated  into 
French  by  Latern  during  the  following  year.  It  is  to  be  found  in  torn.  viii.  of  his 
Opera,  and  in  the  Recueil  des  Opnscides,  p.  1145. 

'  Henry  II.  of  France,  to  gain  the  good-will  of  the  cantons,  pretended  at  ftiat  time 
to  take  a  lively  interest  in  the  protection  of  Geneva,  menaced  by  the  Duke  of  Savoy 
and  the  Emperor  of  Germany.  He  even  informed  the  magistrates  of  the  republic 
regarding  certain  plots,  real  or  imaginary,  laid  for  its  destruction. — Registers  of  the 
Cowicil,  1549,  1550,  passim. 

^The  Emperor  Charles  V.  published,  at  that  time,  his  bloody  edict  against  the 
Protestants,  Lutherans,  Zuinglians,  and  others,  and  seemed  to  be  preparing  himself 
for  a  general  crusade  against  the  Reformed  Churches. — Sleidan,  book  xxii 


1550.]  FAREL.  281 

not  be  able  to  do  any  more  damage.  I  am  not  ignorant  of  the 
danger  from  which  the  Lord  has  extricated  us.  Nor  need  we 
thank  that  abandoned  faction,  truly,  for  not  bringing  this 
unfortunate,  nay  devoted,  city  into  utter  ruin.  But  as  I  had 
all  along  good  hopes  of  a  remedy,  nothing  gave  me  great 
alarm. 

It  is  to  be  feared  that  I  shall  gain  some  ill-will  on  account  of 
the  taxes.'  For  they  know  that  Normandie  and  I  are  con- 
sulted [on  the  matter].  I  prefer  running  this  risk,  however, 
to  allowing  those  to  ruin  themselves  whom  I  ought  to  advise. 
I  was  not  able  to  bring  them  to  a  friendly  agreement.  All  I 
could  do  was,  to  point  out  to  them  the  best  course. 

My  dear  Christopher,'^  confessing  as  you  do  in  the  beginning 
of  your  letter,  that  you  are  not  standing  firm  in  the  faith,  I  am 
astonished  at  your  refusing  to  think  about  the  state  into  which 
you  have  fallen.  Are  you  and  Mirabeau  to  be  here,  then,  at 
Whitsuntide  or  not?  I  shall  write  to  my  godmother  con- 
cerning her  little  daughter  at  my  earliest  opportunity.^  The 
whole  of  yesterday  was  spent  in  some  trifling  manner,  I  hardly 
know  how. 

I  return  to  you  again,  my  dear  Farel.  I  do  not  know  whe- 
ther you  have  sent  Bucer's  letter  to  Yiret.  Anyhow,  I  have 
gathered  from  it  that  the  worthy  man  is  labouring  under  too 
much  moroseness  at  present.^  I  shall  write  him  a  quiet  letter 
by  and  by.  There  will  be  silence  in  future  concerning  the 
Zurichers ;  for  I  perceive  that  it  only  heightens  his  exaspera- 
tion. Seeing  that  he  longs  greatly  for  your  [letter],  I  should 
like  him  to  approve  of  mine.  For  that  saying  of  Terence's 
applies  to  him,  that  the  unfortunate  abuse  everybody.  For 
he  makes  no  secret  of  thinking,  that  his  old  friends  neglect  him 


•  See  note  3,  p.  277. 

"  This  passage  in  the  letter  is  addressed  to  Christopher  Fabri,  or  Libertet,  a  colleague 
of  Farel's  at  Neuchatel. 

8  Calvin  had  stood  godfather  to  one  of  the  daughters  of  Libertet,  whose  wife  he 
habituifUy  called  by  the  familiar  name  o{  my  godmother. 

■*  Saddened  by  his  exile,  and  tormented  by  a  malady  under  which  he  sunk  the  year 
following,  Buoer  complained  bitterly  of  being  cuntinually  the  object  of  an  unjust 
suspicion    to   the  theologians  of  Zurich,  and  of  being  neglected  by  his  friends  in 
Switzerland. 
36 


282  FAREL.  [1550. 

when  they  do  not  write  frequently.  Nor  is  he  deceived  in 
Sturm,  perhaps,  who  formerly  stood  so  high  in  his  favour  that 
he  would  have  wronged  most  men  before  him. 

Adieu,  brethren,  both  very  dear  to  me.  May  the  Lord  be 
always  present  with  you,  to  guide  and  watch  over  you. — Amen. 
I  was  more  tedious  than  I  imagined  on  Saturday.  For  I  did 
not  wish  to  give  [the  letter]  to  Latern  just  when  1  had  it  ready. 
But,  having  striven  in  vain  to  reconcile  him  to  his  wife,  I  sent 
them  both  away,  not  without  considerable  displeasure. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

Normandie  especially  salutes  you.  Your  other  friends  do 
the  same.  We  have  some  here  at  present,  by  no  means  our 
friends.  Mar^chal  de  la  Mark,  the  Due  de  Nemours,'  and  too 
great  a  host  of  that  sort.  They  will  decamp  a  short  while 
before  dinner. 

[Lat.  orig.  auiogr. — Library  of  Gotha.    Yol.  404,  p.  10.] 


CCLXYIII.— To  Farel. 

State  of  religion  in  England — Calvin's  literary  labours — arrival  of  Robert  Stephens 

at  Geneva. 

Geneva,  10<^  November  1550. 

As  for  the  circumstances  of  the  English  king,  I  simply 
charged  Hugo  to  inform  you,  that  the  success  of  the  Gospel  in 
that  country  was  highly  gratifying.  The  French  and  the 
Germans  are  allowed  to  adopt  the  plain  and  simple  mode  of 
administering  the  sacraments,  practised  by  us.  So  well  dis- 
posed was  the  King  himself  to  religious  matters,  that  he  showed 
some  kindness  even  to  me.  But  as  you  will  learn  all  this  better 
from  the  letter  of  Utenhoven,  I  shall  not  add  more.*^     I  had 

'  Two  of  the  keenest  adversaries  of  the  Reformation  in  France. 

"See  note  2,  p.  283.  Having  left  Strasbourg  at  the  same  time  as  Bucer  and 
Fagius,  John  Utenhoven  went  to  London,  where  he  resided  for  many  years  before 
going  to  exercise  the  ministry  in  Poland.  See  his  correspondence  with  BuUinger, 
(1549-1554,)  Zurich  Letters,  first  series,  toms.  i.  and  ii. 


1550.]  FAREL.  288 

hardly  any  communicatiou  with  the  other  brother,  for  hav- 
ing gone  out  of  the  church  with  him,  I  met  by  accident  the 
syndic  Cornd,  with  whom  I  walked  on,  and  while  doing  so, 
the  worthy  man  slipped  away,  and  did  not  again  make  his 
appearance.  I  am  afraid  he  may  have  taken  it  amiss  that  I 
neglected  him  for  the  syndic.  But  you  can  easily  excuse  the 
thing,  although  an  excuse  is  hardly  needed.  But  to  return 
to  England.  You  will  gather  from  the  same  source  certain 
other  things,  of  one  of  which,  I  must  truly  confess,  I  can  by 
no  means  approve ;  viz.,  that  John  Laski  can  be  so  much 
influenced  by  the  slightest  breezes  of  court  favour;  I  fear  its 
winds  will  drive  him  in  all  directions.'  I  have  not  as  yet 
made  bold  to  stir  up  the  King  himself  As  certain  parties 
have  repeatedly  urged  me,*  I  have  at  last  resolved  upon  dedi- 
cating Isaiah  to  him ;  and  as  I  thought  there  would  be  room 
enough  for  an  overplus,  I  intend  adding  to  it  a  second  work, 
viz.,  the  Canonical  Epistles,  which  was  conjoined  with  the 
former,  and  which  will  be  out  at  the  same  time.  I  shall  ac- 
cordingly inscribe  his  name  on  both  works.^ 

In  truth,  that  on  the  Acts  and  on  Genesis,  of  which  you  re- 
mind me,  can  scarcely  be  said  to  have  any  existence  yet.  I 
am  ashamed  of  ray  slow  progress  with  the  Acts ;  and  the  third 
part  which  has  been  completed  will,  I  expect,  make  a  large 
volume.  I  was  compelled  to  lay  Genesis  aside  for  some  time. 
The  revisal  of  the  New  Testament  has  kept  me  busy  for 
four  months  past.  I  am  dragged  reluctantly  into  a  consider- 
able part  of  the  Old  Testament  also.  I  had  reminded  our 
printers,  in  time,  to  select  persons  for  themselves  who,  unlike 
me,  were  fit  for  and  would  undertake  the  work.     They  have 


•  John  Laski,  (Joannes  a  Lasco,)  a  Polish  nobleman  devoted  to  the  cause  of  the 
Reformation,  who  had  preached  successively  in  Poland,  in  Germany,  and  in  England. 
In  the  reign  of  Edward  VI.  ho  rose  to  great  favour  in  the  latter  country,  and  was 
appointed  superintendent  of  the  congregation  of  foreign  Protestants  in  London. — 
Zurich  Letters,  first  series,  tom.  i.  p.  187. 

"  "  I  am  glad  your  Commentary  on  Isaiah,  and  also  the  Canonical  Epistles,  are  de- 
signed for  our  king;  and  I  do  not  doubt  but  that,  even  from  your  letter  to  him,  very 
considerable  benefit  will  accrue  to  the  English  king." — Utenhovon  to  Calvin.  Paris 
MSS.  Jiecueil  Hietoriqiie  de  France,  tom.  xix. 

'  See  Calvin's  lett«r  to  the  King  of  England,  of  January  155L 


284  FAEEL.  [1550. 

not  attended  to  my  hint,  and  so  their  neglect  is  now  my  pun- 
ishment. I  have  got  Louis  de  Bud^^  to  undertake  David, 
Solomon,  and  the  history  of  Job,  but  as  he  will  assist  me  only 
with  his  own  labour,  he  will  not  entirely  rid  me  of  annoyance. 
I  have  rolled  over  the  Apocrypha  on  Beza.  What  could  I 
do  ?  Many  are  wanting  Bibles  to  themselves,  and  it  is  long 
since  there  was  a  single  copy  to  be  had.  There  is  no  one  to 
undertake  the  burden,  so  the  horse's  housings  fall  to  the  ox. 
Some  time  has  been  expended  also  on  the  French  version  of 
the  treatise  De  Scandalis.  But  I  am  annoying  you  to  no  pur- 
pose with  these  trifles;  and,  in  truth,  if  I  had  to  give  you  a 
reason  for  so  doing,  I  could  only  deal  in  absurdities.  I  can 
truly  affirm  this,  however,  that  it  was  not  without  shame  that 
I  read  that  part  of  your  letter  in  which  you  laud  my  indus- 
try, being  abundantly  conscious  of  my  own  sloth  and  tardi- 
ness.    May  the  Lord  enable  me,  creeping  along  gradually,  to 

be  in  some  manner  useful 

I  have  not  received  a  letter  from  Bucer  for  a  long  time. 
What  Yergerio  is  doing  I  know  not,  except  that  he  wrote  me 
from  Zurich,  with  certain  reasons  for  not  returning  at  once 
to  his  own  church.  My  only  fear  is  that  he  will  have  enough 
to  do,  as  you  know  the  restless  disposition  of  those  people. 
Robert  Stephens^  is  now  entirely  ours,  and  we  shall  soon  hear 
what  storms  his  departure  has  raised  at  Paris.     The  retiring 


'  Louis  de  Bude,  Sieur  de  la  Motte,  brother  of  John  de  Bude,  was  particularly 
versed  in  Oriental  languages,  of  which  he  was  made  professor  at  Geneva,  a  short  time 
after  his  arrival  in  that  town.  He  died  in  1552.  We  have  of  his  a  Paautler  traduit 
de  VHehreu  en  Franrais.     8vo.  Geneva,  1550. 

"  The  celebrated  printer  Robert  Etienne,  (Stephens,)  a  man  of  the  purest  reputa- 
tion, who  lived  in  an  age  which  failed  to  recognize  his  genius,  ajid  which  rewarded 
his  labours  with  ingratitude.  Having  become  odious  to  the  clergy  by  his  beautiful 
editions  of  the  Bible,  and  by  his  desire  for  reform,  and  but  ill  protected  by  the  King 
of  France  against  the  vexations  of  the  Sorbonne,  he  resolved  to  quit  his  country  and 
remove  his  presses  to  Geneva,  whither  the  printer  Crespin  had  already  preceded  him. 
He  arrived  there  towards  the  end  of  the  year  1550,  with  his  son  Henry,  who  after- 
wards shed  a  new  lustre  on  the  name  of  Stephens.  He  publicly  embraced  the  cause 
of  the  Reformation,  together  with  the  members  of  his  family,  and  honoured  his 
adopted  country  by  the  publication  of  various  works  of  antiquity,  both  sacred  and 
profane.  Made  a  burgess  of  Geneva  in  1556,  he  lived  in  constant  intimacy  with  Cal- 
vin and  Beza,  until  his  death  in  1559. — Senebier,  Hist.  Zi«.,  pp.  355,356;  Haag. 
France  Protestantc,  Art.  Estienne. 


1550.]  MONSIEUE   DE   FALAIS.  285 

philosophers  will  doubtless  be  quite  insane.'  If  the  Lord 
will,  I  shall  pay  you  a  visit  early  in  spring,  since  I  did 
not  go  during  the  last  vintage  season,  which  I  hoped,  and 
particularly  desired,  to  do.  My  colleagues,  Normandie  and 
his  sister,  one  of  the  Budds,  who  is  here,  (for  John  has  gone 
to  France  for  his  father-in-law,)  Trier,  one  of  the  Colladons 
— all,  salute  you  most  lovingly  and  cordially ;  so  do  very 
many  others.  Present  my  best  regards  to  my  countryman 
Christopher,  to  Michael  Faton,  and  to  your  own  family  ;  nor 
do  I  wish  to  forget  Mirabeau.  Be  not  surprised  that  the  sea 
of  Scandals  is  wellnigh  drunk  up  by  the  draughts  I  have 
taken  of  it.  Be  it  known,  also,  that  I  was  afraid  to  attempt 
exhausting  it,  lest  I  should  drain  it  dry.  May  the  Lord  pre- 
serve you  long  in  safety,  and  may  he  ever  bless  your  labours. 
— Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  107,  a.] 


CCLXIX.— To  Monsieur  de  Falais.* 

Misconduct  of  a  serrant  of  M.  de  Falais. 

Thin  2i:th  of  December  {\bbf).) 

MoNSElGNEUR, — I  thank  you  in  the  name  of  all,  for  the 
trouble  you  have  been  pleased  to  take  in  helping  us,  if  per- 
chance the  bad  business  which  has  been  going  on  underhand 
can  be  set  right.^  I  find,  however,  that  the  examination  will 
not  be  sufficient  to  enable  us  to  get  to  the  bottom  of  it.  "We 
have  of  course  forbidden  all  intercourse  for  the  future  be- 


'  In  allusion  to  a  tolerably  numerous  party  in  France,  who,  on  receiving  the  Gospel, 
believed  they  might  remain  united  in  external  communion  with  the  Romish  Church, 
and  escape  persecution  by  an  apparent  adhesion  to  its  dogmas. 

"  After  leaving  Bale,  and  his  establishment  at  Geneva,  (July  1548).  This  seigneur 
lived  in  the  village  of  Veigy,  situated  several  leagues  from  the  city,  between  Her- 
manco  and  Les  Voirons. 

^  In  allusion  to  the  misconduct  of  a  servant  of  Monsieur  de  Falais. 


286  MONSIEUR  DE   FALAIS.  [1550 

tween  the  young  man  and  that  unhappy  woman.  But  it  will 
be  a  more  difficult  matter  to  bring  home  to  their  consciences 
their  past  misdeeds.  Indeed  there  is  but  one  witness  who 
testifies  that  the  brother  was  incensed  at  it.  Now  he  denies 
that  he  had  ever  perceived  it  at  all. 

Yesterday  I  was  called  away  from  the  consistory  by  some 
extraordinary  business,  so  that  I  could  not  see  how  they 
dealt  with  this  gallant.  And  my  brethren  are  at  this  mo- 
ment taken  up  with  the  Visitation,^  whither  indeed  I  must 
also  go.  However,  I  hope  that  what  we  have  got  will  serve 
very  well  to  make  a  beginning.  I  shall,  if  it  please  God,  let 
you  know  of  any  shortcoming,  by  word  of  mouth,  humbly 
thanking  you  for  your  so  liberal  entertainment,  although  I 
feel  always  assured  of  your  good-will,  even  had  you  not  said 
a  word  to  me  about  it. 

Wherefore,  Monseigneur,  being  constrained  to  conclude,  I 
beseech  our  good  Lord  to  have  you  in  his  holy  keeping,  and 
to  guide  you  by  his  Spirit,  as  seemeth  good  to  him,  for  the 
glory  of  his  name  by  you  even  unto  the  end.  I  hope  that  he 
will  vouchsafe  us  grace  to  celebrate  the  Supper  together,  al- 
though we  must  be  locally  separate.  And  so  I  commend  me 
to  the  kind  favour  of  yourself  and  of  Madame. 
Your  humble  brother  and  servant, 

John  Calvin. 

[Fr.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  194.] 

'  We  read  in  the  MS.  Chronicle  of  Michael  Reset,  lib.  v.  chap.  27,  "By  advice  of 
the  ministers,  April  3,  1550,  it  was  enacted,  that  an  annual  visitation  be  maintained 
from  house  to  house,  for  the  examination  of  men  and  women  as  to  their  faith,  in  order 
to  discern  between  the  ignorant,  and  hardened  sinners,  and  true  Christians,  which  in 
time  has  wrought  great  benefit." 


1551.]  HALLER.  287 


CCLXX.— To  Haller.' 

Explanations  on  the  subject  of  the  abolition  of  the  great  festivals  at  Geneva. 

Gei^eva,  2(1  January  lool, 

•  I  desire  you,  my  dear  Haller,  not  to  measure  my  affection 
for  you  by  my  not  writing  to  you  and  to  our  friend  Musculus, 
of  late,  to  lighten  the  domestic  affliction  under  which  you  both 
laboured.^  There  is  no  need  for  my  occupying  many  words  in 
expressing  how  anxious  I  was  about  your  danger,  from  the  time 
that  I  heard  of  your  houses  being  visited  by  the  plague.  But 
as  this  remembrance  should  not  be  more  pleasing  to  kind- 
hearted  and  considerate  men  than  the  duty  of  writing,  I  trust 
that  when  I  inform  you  that  my  silence  did  not  by  any  means 
arise  from  neglect,  I  shall  fully  satisfy  you  both.  The  reason 
why  I  did  not  write  you  is  this :  a  report  lately  reached  this 
place  regarding  your  calamity,  but  I  could  not  accurately  ascer- 

•  See  the  notice,  p.  249. 

In  a  reaction,  perhaps  exaggerated,  against  the  practices  of  the  Romish  Church,  the 
magistrates  of  Geneva  were  led  to  adopt  a  measure  which  made  a  great  noise  among 
the  Swiss  Protestants.  While  Berne  and  Zurich  celebrated  the  four  great  feasts  of 
the  year,  according  to  the  ancient  Catholic  custom,  the  Genevese  abolished  the  week- 
day feasts,  and  kept  nothing  but  the  Sabbath.  This  measure,  in  which  Calvin  had 
no  hand  whatever,  and  of  which  he,  in  some  degree,  even  disapproved,  was  made 
nevertheless  the  subject  of  very  violent  personal  declamations  against  him.  Some 
even  accused  him  of  wishing  to  abolish  the  Sabbath.  In  letters  to  his  friends,  Ilaller, 
Bullinger,  and  some  others,  he  thought  it  his  duty  to  represent  the  true  character  of 
the  reform  effected  at  Geneva,  and  his  real  relation  to  it.  lie  had  little  difficulty  in 
obtaining  the  approbation  of  Bullinger,  who  replied  to  him  in  these  words  :  "  You  have 
just  given  the  answer  which  I  expected,  my  dear  brother.  For  I  know  that  in  matters 
of  that  sort,  where  duty  is  but  little  heeded,  and  much  ill-will  is  engendered,  you  have 
never  been  morose.  I  am  anxious,  indeed,  in  such  matters,  to  see  that  liberty  pre- 
served, which  I  perceive  to  have  flourished  in  the  churches  from  the  very  days  of  the 
apostles."  .  .  .  — Calvini  Opera,  tom.  ix.  p.  63. 

*  The  plague,  which  had  cut  off  Iledio,  the  pious  minister  at  Strasbourg,  made  great 
ravages  at  Berne  during  the  same  year.  It  entered  the  houses  of  Wolfgang  Musculus, 
and  of  John  Haller,  although  they  escaped  themselves.  A  great  number  of  the  ministers 
of  the  Church  of  Borne  sunk  under  the  attacks  of  this  awful  scourge. — Kuchat,  tom. 
V.  p.  470.     The  Chronique  of  Ilaller,  cited  by  Ilottingor. 


288  HALLER.  [1551. 

tain  tlie  extent  of  its  progress.  Accordingly,  I  did  not  venture 
to  take  any  active  measures;  I  preferred  having  recourse  to 
prayer;  this  I  knew  both  to  be  more  necessary  for  you,  and  to 
be  desired  by  you.  Besides  the  abolition  of  the  feast-days  here 
has  given  grievous  offence  to  some  of  your  people,  and  it  is 
likely  enough  that  much  unpleasant  talk  has  been  circulating 
among  you.  I  am  pretty  certain,  also,  that  I  get  the  credit  of 
being  the  author  of  the  whole  matter,  both  among  the  malevol- 
ent and  the  ignorant.  But  as  I  can  solemnly  testify  that  it  was 
accomplished  without  my  knowledge,  and  without  my  desire,  so 
I  resolved  from  the  first  rather  to  weaken  malice  by  silence, 
than  be  over-solicitous  about  my  defence.  Before  I  ever 
entered  the  city,  there  were  no  festivals  but  the  Lord's  day. 
Those  celebrated  by  you  were  approved  of  by  the  same  public 
decree  by  which  Farel  and  I  were  expelled;  and  it  was  rather 
extorted  by  the  tumultuous  violence  of  the  ungodly,  than  de- 
creed according  to  the  order  of  law.  Since  my  recall,  I  have 
pursued  the  moderate  course  of  keeping  Christ's  birth-day  as 
you  are  wont  to  do.  But  there  were  extraordinary  occasions  of 
public  prayer  on  other  days;  the  shops  were  shut  in  the  morn- 
ing, and  every  one  returned  to  his  several  calling  after  dinner. 
There  were,  however,  in  the  meanwhile,  certain  inflexible  in- 
dividuals who  did  not  comply  with  the  common  custom  from 
some  perverse  malice  or  other.  Diversity  would  n ot  be  tolerated 
in  a  rightly  constituted  church:  even  for  citizens  not  to  live  on 
good  terms  with  one  another,  would  beget  mistrust  among 
strangers.  I  exhorted  the  Senate  to  remove  this  disagreement 
in  future  by  a  proper  remedy.  And  indeed,  I  lauded,  at  the 
same  time,  in  express  terms,  the  moderation  which  they  had 
hitherto  exercised.  I  afterwards  heard  of  the  abrogation,  just 
as  a  perfect  stranger  would.  "Would  that  N.'  had  acted  less 
ambitiously  on  former  occasions!  For  feast-days  might  have 
been  abolished  in  that  entire  province.  In  order  that  those 
four  might  return  to  their  old  condition  and  former  privileges, 
he  contended  as  keenly  against  all  the  French-speaking  pastors 

'  Ruchat,  who  reproduces  this  letter,  (torn.  v.  p.  441,)  considers  that  the  name  here 
suppressed  is  that  of  Pierre  Kontzen,  a  minister  of  Berne,  who  presided,  in  1538,  at 
the  Synod  of  Lausanne.  . 


1551.]  viBET.  289 

as  if  he  had  been  acting  for  the  good  of  the  Church.  You 
would  have  said  that  Victor  was  doing  battle  with  the  Orientals 
in  behalf  of  his  Easter.  When  I  once  asked  him  why  circum- 
cision had  a  right  to  more  honour  than  the  death  of  Christ, 
he  was  compelled  to  be  silent.  But  let  us  forget  the  past.  I 
am  satisfied  with  having  indicated  briefly  the  cause  of  so  sudden 
a  change  among  us.  Although  I  have  neither  been  the  mover 
nor  instigator  to  it,  yet,  since  it  has  so  happened,  I  am  not  sorry 
for  it.  And  if  you  knew  the  state  of  our  Church  as  well  as  I 
do,  you  would  not  hesitate  to  subscribe  to  my  judgment.  Let 
me  say  this,  however,  that  if  I  had  got  my  choice,  I  should  not 
have  decided  in  favour  of  what  has  now  been  agreed  upon. 
Yet  there  is  no  reason  why  men  should  be  so  much  provoked, 
if  we  use  our  liberty  as  the  edification  of  the  Church  demands; 
just  as,  on  the  contrary,  it  is  not  fair  to  take  a  prejudice  against 
our  custom. 

Adieu,  very  excellent  sir  and  brother,  deserving  of  my  hearty 
regard.  Salute  your  colleagues,  I  pray  you,  and  Mr.  Nicolas 
Zerkiuden,  in  my  name.  My  brethren  salute  you  and  those 
aforementioned,  very  heartily.  May  the  Lord  by  his  Spirit 
rule  over  you,  preserve  you,  and  bless  you  in  all  things.   Amen. 

John  Calvin. 

[Calvin's  Lat.  Corresp.    Opera,  torn.  ix.  p.  62.] 


CCLXXL— To  ViRET." 

Criticism  of  a  mandate  published  by  the  Seigneurs  of  Berne. 

Aih  January  1551. 

"What  else  can  we  say,  my  dear  Viret,  of  those  men  destitute 
of  the  Spirit  of  God,  but  that  they  have  lost  their  wits?     For 

'  Always  attentive  to  reflate  by  ordinances  the  different  points  of  religious  and 
ecclesiastical  life,  the  Seigneurs  of  Bcme  had  just  published  (Dec.  1550)  new  edicts 
more  rigorous  than  those  which  had  preceded  them.  These  edicts  were  especially 
directed  against  the  gross  notions  and  certain  customs  of  the  Papists,  which  Berne 
punished  by  fine.  Indulgent  to  the  taking  of  oaths,  of  which  the  custom  was  generally 
disseminated  among  the  Catholic  population  subject  to  their  dominion,  the  Seigneurie 
seemed  to  reserve  all  their  severity  for  the  offence  of  not  observing  the  feasts  abolished 
at  Geneva, 

37 


290  viRET.  [1551. 

from  that  very  trivial  circumstance  in  which  they  have  be- 
trayed their  infatuation,  we  conjecture  what  violent  decrees 
they  would  have  passed  if  matters  should  ever  come  to  a  serious 
issue.  I  have  no  doubt  but  the  taunt  of  some  Papist,  rashly 
uttered  over  his  cups,  has  so  stunned  them,  that  they  have  im- 
mediately hatched  this  mode  of  propitiating  them.  But  in  their 
zeal  to  gratify  the  Papists,  not  only  do  they  indulge  them  with 
a  permission  to  take  rash  oaths,  but  they  even  urge  supersti- 
tious people  on,  as  if  by  the  blast  of  a  trumpet,  to  taking  these 
oaths.  For  how  many  will  be  found  who,  for  the  sake  of  in- 
curring this  penalty,  will  spontaneously  and  deliberately 
commit  the  offence?  For  my  own  part,  I  am  of  opinion,  that 
before  the  edict  is  promulgated,  you  should  not  fail  to  repair 
thither.  If  the  prefect,  having  received  the  order,  should  urge 
you  to  publish  it,  James,  in  your  absence,  will  petition  him  to 
put  it  off  till  this  return.  For  should  you  betake  yourself 
thither,  by  private  conferences  with  your  friends  you  will  gain 
more  than  if  ten  deputations  were  sent  out.  Nevertheless, 
unless  you  insist  strenuously  by  well-timed  entreaties,  you 
yourself  will  not  obtain  much  success.  Meanwhile  you  will 
have  to  put  in  practice  the  artifice  of  leaving  free  to  them  and 
untouched  whatever  they  may  have  resolved  to  expedite  in 
the  city.  One  thing,  however,  you  will  take  care  to  point  out 
to  them,  that  their  purposes  cannot  be  effected  in  this  province. 
For  I  am  in  hopes  that  ere  long  they  will  repent  of  their 
thoughtlessness.  For  the  present  what  has  dropped  from  them 
so  inconsiderately,  in  the  first  burst  of  their  passion,  they  will 
wish  to  defend.  Beware  then  of  going  one  step  further  than 
seeing  that  they  put  in  execution  the  article  about  prayer  in  the 
French  edicts.  Eespecting  the  abrogation  offcast  days'  in  our 
city,  I  doubt  not  but  scandalous  speeches  are  bandied  about 
there.  I  told  our  brother  Boza,  when  he  lately  visited  us,  that 
that  edict  had  been  framed  without  my  knowledge,  and  even 
without  a  desire  on  my  part  for  anything  of  the  kind.  As  I 
cannot,  however,  escape  being  considered  as  the  author  of  it, 


1  This  abolition,  which  was  at  a  hiter  period  to  provoke  such  'warm  debates  between 
Borne  aad  Geneva,  had  been  pronounced  the  ICth  Nov.  1550. 


1551.]  RICHARD   LE   FEVRE.  291 

why  should  I  not  quietly  treat  with  contempt  all  unfavourable 
judgments  on  that  point?  I  have  sent  to  you  an  unsealed 
letter  for  Ilaller.  If  you  think  proper,  you  may  take  a  copy 
of  it,  and  shew  it  to  Farel  on  his  return.  Farewell,  my  most 
excellent  brother;  salute  your  wife  and  daughters  for  me. 
I  am  happy  that  everything  goes  on  well  at  home.  May  the 
Lord  preserve  you  long  in  this  prosperous  state,  and  bless 
your  labours.  You  will  present  my  best  wishes  to  the 
brethren.  My  colleagues  and  most  of  the  brethren  desire  to 
be  kindly  remembered  to  you. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Yol.  lOT,  a.] 


CCLXXII.— To  Richard  Le  Fevre.' 

Explanations  regarding  various  points  of  doctrine  in  dispute  between  the  Romish  and 
the  Reformed  Churches. 

Geneva,  19th  January  1551. 

My  dear  Brother, — As  God  has  called  you  to  give  testi- 
mony to  his  Gospel,  never  doubt  that  he  will  strengthen  you 
in  the  might  of  his  Spirit;  and  that,  as  he  has  already  begun, 
so  he  must  needs  perfect  his  work,  manifesting  himself  vic- 
torious in  you  against  his  enemies.  It  is  true  that  the  triumphs 
of  Jesus  Christ  are  despised  by  the  world;  for  while  we  are 
under  reproach,  the  wicked  are  glorifying  themselves  in  their 

'  Richard  Le  Fevre,  a  native  of  Rouen,  one  of  the  martyrs  of  the  Reformed  Church 
of  Lyons.  Seized  in  that  town  in  1551,  and  condemned  to  death,  he  appealed  thence 
to  the  Parliament  of  Paris,  and  was  delivered  hi  tntnnitu  by  some  unknown  friends. 
Surprised,  two  years  afterwards,  at  Grenoble,  ho  was  brought  back  to  the  dungeons 
of  Lyons,  saw  his  first  sentence  confirmed  by  the  Parliament  of  Paris,  and  went 
cheerfully  to  the  stake  the  7th  July  155-1.  lie  wrote  on  the  3d  of  May  to  Calvin, — 
"  The  present  is  to  let  you  know,  that  I  hope  to  go  to  keep  Whitsuntide  in  the  king- 
dom of  heaven,  and  to  be  present  at  the  marriage  of  the  Son  of  God,  ....  if  I  am 
not  sooner  called  away  by  this  good  Lord  and  Master,  whose  voice  I  am  ready  to  obey, 
■when  ho  shall  say,  Come,  ye  blessed  of  my  Father,  possess  the  kingdom  which  has 
been  prepared  for  you  before  the  foundation  of  the  world." — (The  original  autograph 
letter,  Library  of  Geneva,  Vol.  109.)  During  his  first  captivity  at  Lyons,  Richard  Le 
Fevre  had  consulted  Calvin  on  some  points  of  doctrine,  and  had  received  pious  ex- 
hortations from  him  regarding  them. 


292  EICHARD   LE   FEVRE.  [1551. 

pride,  but  yet  are  they  still  confounded  by  the  power  of  that 
truth  which  God  has  put  into  our  mouth,  and  our  hearts  are 
also  strengthened  to  obtain  the  victory  over  Satan  and  all  his 
supporters,  while  looking  for  the  day  when  the  glory  of  God 
shall  be  fully  revealed,  to  the  confusion  of  the  wicked  and  of 
the  unbelieving.  All  that  you  have  felt  and  experienced,  up  to 
the  present  moment,  of  the  abounding  goodness  of  God,  ought 
to  confirm  you  in  the  assured  hope,  that  he  shall  not  fail  you 
in  the  future;  meanwhile,  however,  pray  him  that  he  would 
make  you  understand  always  better  and  better  what  a  treasure 
there  is  in  that  doctrine  for  which  you  contend,  so  that  in 
comparison  thereof  you  may  not  esteem  even  your  life  to  be 
precious.  Have  always,  besides,  your  eyes  lifted  up  on  high  to 
that  kind  Lord  Jesus,  who  will  be  your  surety,  seeing  that  you 
are  only  persecuted  for  his  name.  Think  upon  that  immortal 
glory  which  he  has  purchased  for  us,  to  the  end  that  you  may 
be  able  to  endure  in  patience  the  afflictions  wherein  you  are. 
Beseech  this  kind  Lord  continually  that  he  would  give  you 
such  an  issue  as  he  has  promised  to  all  who  are  his  own,  and 
that  according  as  he  has  thought  fit  to  try  your  faith,  so  he 
would  cause  you  to  experience  the  strength  of  his  promises. 
And  that  as  he  is  the  Father  of  Light,  he  would  enlighten  you 
to  such  a  degree,  that  all  the  thick  fumes  which  the  wicked 
raise  up  before  you,  may  not  be  able  to  dim  your  eyesight,  and 
that  all  their  quirks  and  cautions  may  not  be  able  to  darken 
your  understanding,  that  you  should  ever  lose  sight  of  the 
true  Sun  of  Eighteousness,  who  is  the  very  Son  of  God, 

When  you  have  to  reply  to  arguments,  you  do  well  to  an- 
swer in  all  simplicity,  speaking  according  to  the  measure  of 
your  faith,  even  as  it  is  written :  /  have  believed,  therefore  I 
shall  speak.  True  it  is  that  all  those  subtil  ties  which  they 
conceit  themselves  to  have,  are  nought  else  but  silly  prating ; 
but  rest  you  content  with  what  God  has  imparted  to  you  of 
the  knowledge  of  himself,  so  as  to  bear  clear  testimony  un- 
feignedly  to  the  truth.  For  however  they  may  sneer  at  it,  it 
will  be  as  a  thunderbolt  of  confusion  to  them,  when  they  hear 
nothing  but  what  is  founded  upon  God  and  his  word.  Be- 
sides, you  know  who  it  is  that  has  promised  to  give  a  mouth 


1551.]  RICHARD  LE   FEVRE.  295 

and  wisdom  to  his  own,  which  his  adversaries  shall  not  be 
able  to  withstand.  Ask  of  him  that  he  may  guide  you,  ac- 
cording to  what  he  shall  know  to  be  good.  They  will  not 
cease  for  all  that  to  hold  you  convicted  of  heresy ;  but  it  has 
been  ever  thus  with  all  the  apostles  and  prophets,  and  with 
all  the  martyrs.  The  clerk  of  court  will  only  write  what 
suits  his  own  pleasure,  but  your  confession  will  not  fail  to  be 
recorded  before  God  and  his  angels,  and  he  will  make  it  pro- 
fitable to  his  own  as  is  best  for  them. 

I  shall  mention  briefly  some  points  upon  which  they  have 
endeavoured  to  trouble  you.  In  order  to  persuade  you  that 
we  are  not  justified  by  the  grace  of  God  alone,  they  have 
alleged  that  Zacharias  and  several  others  are  called  just. 
Well,  you  must  consider  how  God  has  accepted  them  as  such. 
If  on  inquiry  you  find  that  it  is  on  account  of  his  own  free 
grace  in  pardoning  all  that  might  have  been  charged  against 
them,  and  not  imputing  to  them  their  faults  and  vices,  behold 
merit  entirely  excluded ;  for  in  saying  that  faith  alone  in 
Christ  justifies  us,  we  understand,  in  the  first  place,  that  we  are 
all  of  us  accursed,  and  that  there  is  nothing  in  us  but  sin ; 
and  that  we  are  neither  able  to  think,  nor  to  do  any  good,  ex- 
cept in  so  far  as  God  governs  us  by  his  Holy  Spirit,  as  mem- 
bers of  the  body  of  his  Son.  Furthermore,  that  even  when 
God  vouchsafes  us  the  grace  to  walk  in  his  fear,  we  are  very 
far  from  discharging  ourselves  of  our  duty.  Now,  it  is 
written :  Whosoever  shall  not  fulfil  all  whatsoever  is  com- 
manded, shall  be  cursed ;  and  therefore  we  have  no  other 
refuge  but  to  the  blood  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  who  cleanses 
and  washes  us  in  the  sacrifice  of  his  death,  which  is  our  sanc- 
tification.  Thus  God  also  accepts  as  well-pleasing  the  good 
works  which  we  perform  in  his  strength,  although  they  must 
always  be  tainted  with  some  shortcomings.  And  so  in  this 
way,  whosoever  thinks  to  rest  upon  his  own  merits,  will  find 
himself,  as  it  were,  suspended  in  the  air,  to  be  dri^n  about  of 
every  wind.  In  short,  those  who  think  to  merit  anything, 
woutd  fain  make  God  their  debtor,  whereas  we  must  hold 
everything  of  his  pure  bounty.  We  shall  be  rich  and  abound- 
ing in  merits,  if  in  Jesus  Christ :  while  we  are  strangers  to 


294:  EICHAED  LE   FEVRE.  [1551. 

his  grace,  we  need  not  think  to  have  one  drop  of  good  in  us. 
If  the  enemies  bring  forward  the  word  ivages,  let  it  not  trouble 
you,  for  God  gives  wages  to  his  own,  although  they  are  in  no- 
wise worthy  of  them ;  but  inasmuch  as  he  accepts  the  service 
which  HE  has  enabled  them  to  render,  having  consecrated 
them  in  the  blood  of  his  Son  Jesus  Christ,  on  purpose  that 
they  may  derive  all  their  value  from  thence.  Wherefore,  the 
wages  which  God  promises  to  his  faithful  ones,  presupposes 
the  remission  of  their  sins,  and  the  privilege  they  have  of 
being  supported  as  his  children.  And  in  truth  this  word, 
justification,  implies  that  God  holds  us  as  just,  and  therefore 
loves  us,  the  which  we  obtain  by  faith  alone :  for  Jesus  Christ 
is  the  sole  cause  of  our  salvation.  It  is  true  that  St.  James 
takes  another  signification,  when  he  says,  thai  works  help  faith 
for  our  justification  ;  for  he  means  to  prove  by  the  effect  that 
we  are  justified :  neither  does  he  dispute  at  all  in  regard 
to  the  foundation  of  our  salvation,  and  wherein  our  confidence 
must  be  placed ;  but  only  how  the  true  faith  is  known,  so  that 
no  one  may  make  mistakes  in  regard  to  it,  glorifying  himself 
in  the  empty  name.  Should  they  return  to  you  with  further 
importunity  on  this  point,  I  hope  God  will  furnish  you  where- 
withal to  overcome  them. 

Concerning  the  intercession  of  the  Virgin  Mary  and  de- 
parted saints,  come  back  always  to  this  principle,  that  it  is 
not  for  us  to  appoint  advocates  in  paradise,  but  for  God,  who 
has  ordained  Jesus  Christ  a  single  one  for  all.  Also,  that  our 
prayers  ought  to  be  offered  up  in  faith,  and  therefore  ordered 
by  the  word  of  God,  as  saith  St.  Paul  in  Komans  x.  Now,  it 
is  certain,  that  throughout  the  word  of  God  there  is  not  a 
single  syllable  of  what  they  say ;  wherefore  all  their  prayers 
are  profane  and  displeasing  to  him.  If  they  further  reply  to 
you,  that  it  is  not  forbidden  to  us,  the  answer  is  easy :  that 
it  is  forbidden  to  us  to  set  about  anything  according  to  our 
own  proper  fancy,  yea,  in  matters  of  far  less  moment ;  but 
above  all,  that  prayer  is  a  most  high  privilege,  and  too  sacred 
to  be  directed  according  to  our  fantasy.  Nay  more,  they 
cannot  deny  that  their  having  recourse  to  the  saints  arises 


1551.]  RICHARD   LE   FEVRE.  295 

from  pure  distrust  that  Jesus  Christ  alone  would  be  sufficient 
for  them. 

As  for  their  continual  reply,  that  the  charity  of  the  saints 
is  not  diminished,  the  answer  is  easy :  that  charity  is  regu- 
lated and  limited  by  what  God  requires  from  each  individual. 
Now,  he  desires  that  the  living  exercise  themselves  in  prayer 
for  one  another.  Of  the  departed  there  is  no  mention  made, 
and  in  such  important  matters  we  must  imagine  nothing  out 
of  our  own  brain,  but  keep  to  what  is  told  us  in  Scripture. 

In  regard  to  what  the  adversaries  allege,  that  it  is  said  in 
Genesis  that  the  name  of  Abraham  and  Isaac  was  to  be  in- 
voked after  their  decease,  true  it  is  that  the  text  runs  thus ; 
but  it  is  pure  absurdity  to  bring  it  forward  for  the  present 
purpose.  That  is  written  in  the  forty-eighth  chapter  of  Gen- 
esis, where  it  is  said,  that  Jacob  in  blessing  Ephraim  and 
Manasseh,  the  sons  of  Joseph,  prayed  to  God  that  the  names 
of  his  fathers  Abraham  and  Isaac,  and  his  own,  may  be  called 
upon  these  two  lads,  as  on  the  heads  of  the  tribes  lineally 
descended  from  himself.  Now,  that  is  as  much  as  if  he  had 
said,  that  they  were  to  be  reputed  and  reckoned  as  being  of 
the  number  of  the  twelve  tribes,  and  that  they  should  form 
two  heads  of  tribes,  as  if  they  had  been  his  children  in  the 
first  degree  ;  as  also  that  they  were  born  in  Egypt.  He  binds 
them  together  by  his  prayer  to  the  lineage  which  God  had 
blessed  and  sanctified,  because  at  that  time  they  were  sepa- 
rate, according  to  outward  appearance.  And  so  that  form  of 
expression  signifies  nothing  more  than  the  bearing  of  the 
name  of  Abraham,  and  being  owned  as  of  his  lineage,  as  it  is 
said  in  chap.  iv.  of  Isaiah,  that  the  name  of  the  husband  is 
called  upon  the  wife,  inasmuch  as  the  wife  is  under  the  shadow 
and  guidance  of  her  husband. 

So  far  as  they  bring  forward  Saint  Ignatius,  you  do  not 
require  much  of  an  answer.  There  is  one  passage  where  he 
says  :  That  Jesus  Christ  stands  for  him  instead  of  all  ancestry. 
Arm  yourself  then  with  that  single  word,  to  bring  them  back 
to  the  pure  doctrine  of  the  Gospel. 

Because  I  have  made  use  of  that  expression  against  the 
Papists,  they  take  advantage  of  it  to  say,  that  I  approve  and 


296  EICHAKD   LE   FEVKE.  [1551. 

value  the  book  whence  it  is  taken.  Now,  that  you  may  not 
be  deceived  thereby,  I  assure  you,  that  it  contains  such  a  heap 
of  silly  folly,  that  the  monks  of  the  present  day  could  not 
write  greater  nonsense.  But  seeing  that  you  are  not  ac- 
quainted with  the  Latin  tongue,  and  still  less  with  the  Greek 
in  which  Saint  Ignatius  has  written,  (if  indeed  we  have  any- 
thing which  is  truly  his,)  you  need  not  enter  upon  this  ques- 
tion. Be  content  to  answer  them,  that  you  can  never  go 
wrong  while  following  Jesus  Christ,  who  is  the  Light  of  the 
world.  As  for  the  early  doctors,  those  who  are  better  read 
in  their  writings  will  be  able  to  tell  them  quite  enough  to 
stop  their  mouths.  Let  it  be  enough  for  you  to  possess  the 
assurance  of  true  faith  in  the  word  of  Jesus  Christ  alone, 
which  can  neither  fail  you,  nor  deceive.  And  it  is  even 
thither  that  all  the  early  doctors  send  them,  protesting  that 
they  have  no  wish  to  be  believed,  excepting  in  so  far  as  what 
they  speak  shall  be  found  conformable  to  what  is  taught  us  of 
God,  and  which  is  contained  in  his  word. 

On  the  subject  of  the  Sacrament  of  the  Supper,  when  they 
speak  to  you  about  transubstantiation,  you  have  a  ready 
answer :  that  all  those  passages  which  they  bring  together, 
even  if  they  could  be  taken  in  the  sense  which  they  adduce, 
cannot  be  applied  to  the  mass.  For,  when  it  is  said,  Tltis  is 
my  hody  and  my  blood,  it  is  also  then  and  there  added.  Take, 
eat  ye,  and  drink  ye  all  of  this  cup.  Now,  among  them,  there 
is  but  one  who  eats  the  whole ;  and  even  at  Easter,  he  gives 
but  a  part  of  it  to  the  people.  But  there  is  even  yet  a  sorer 
evil,  that  instead  of  what  Jesus  Christ  said, — Take  ;  they  pre- 
sume to  offer  a  sacrifice,  which  was  to  be  unique  and  of  per- 
petual efficacy.  And,  besides,  in  order  to  have  some  help  from 
these  words,  they  ought  to  maintain  the  observance  of  the 
Supper,  which  they  do  not.  Moreover,  you  can  always  pro- 
test, that  you  do  not  deny  that  Jesus  Christ  gives  us  his  body, 
provided  that  we  look  for  it  from  heaven.  In  reply  to  all  the 
cavils  which  they  may  allege,  you  have  only  to  declare  to 
them  that  which  you  have  seen  and  heard,  well  knowing  that 
it  is  from  God  you  have  it ;  for  our  faith  would  be  very 
slender  indeed,  if  it  were  founded  only  upon  men.     There  is 


1551.]  RICHARD   LE   FEVRE.  297 

nothing  better,  then,  than  continually  to  meditate  the  doctrine 
wherein  lies  the  true  substance  of  our  Christianity,  so  that  in 
due  time  and  place,  you  may  be  able  to  manifest  that  you 
have  not  believed  in  vain.  And  as  I  have  said  from  the 
beginning,  if  the  enemies  of  the  truth  are  stirred  by  their 
ambition  to  contend,  manifest  on  your  part,  that  it  is  enough 
for  you  that  you  glorify  God  in  opposing  their  tricks  and 
sophistries.  Content  yourself  with  having  for  your  buckler 
a  simple  confession  of  that  which  God  has  imprinted  upon 
your  heart.  Least  of  all  need  you  torment  yourself,  if  they 
deal  in  impudent  calumnies  against  me  or  others,  seeing  that 
they  have  leave  to  speak  evil  without  rhyme  or  reason.  Let 
us  bear  patiently  all  the  reproaches  and  slanders  which  they 
cast  upon  us ;  for  we  are  not  better  than  Saint  Paul,  who  tells 
us  that  we  must  walk  in  the  midst  of  false  accusing  and  vitu- 
peration. Provided  we  do  what  is  right,  when  they  speak 
evil  concerning  us,  we  may  bear  it  with  unconcern.  Besides, 
when  they  lay  fresh  calumnies  upon  us,  we  may  well  render 
thanksgiving  to  God,  that  we  have  a  clear  conscience  in  his 
sight  and  before  men,  and  that  we  are  free  from  all  suspicion 
of  evil.  And  on  the  other  hand,  albeit  that  we  are  wretched 
sinners,  so  full  of  wretchedness  and  poverty,  that  we  groan  by 
reason  of  it  continually ;  still  he  does  not  permit  the  wicked 
to  speak  evil  of  us,  unless  falsely  ;  yea,  to  condemn  them  from 
their  own  mouth,  of  having  invented  regarding  us  that  which 
they  had  not  very  far  to  search  for,  inasmuch  as  it  is  in  them- 
selves. Let  us  therefore  glory  in  the  grace  of  God  with  all 
humility,  when  we  see  that  these  poor  unhappy  men,  like 
drunkards,  glory  in  their  shame.  If  you  are  vexed  to  hear 
them  speak  evil  thus  deceitfully  concerning  me,  you  ought  to 
be  far  more  deeply  grieved  to  hear  them  blaspheme  against 
our  Saviour  and  Master,  to  whom  belongs  all  honour,  since, 
making  full  account  of  all  the  innocence  which  shall  ever  be 
in  us,  we  might  well  be  overwhelmed  in  utter  confusion. 

Meanwhile,  comfort  yourself  in  our  Almighty  God,  who 

has  vouchsafed  us  the  grace  to  knit  us  together  so  entirely 

with  his  Son,  that  all  the  devils  of  hell,  and  all  the  wicked  of 

the  world,  can  never  be  able  to  separate  us.    Eejoice,  there- 

38 


298  viRET.  [1551. 

fore,  tliat  you  uphold  his  quarrel,  with  a  good  conscience, 
hoping  that  he  will  strengthen  you  to  bear  whatsoever  it  shall 
please  him  you  should  suffer.  We  have  such  remembrance 
of  you  in  our  prayers,  as  we  ought  to  have,  in  beseeching  the 
God  of  all  grace,  that  seeing  it  has  pleased  him  to  employ  you 
in  the  maintenance  of  his  truth,  he  would  vouchsafe  you  all 
that  is  needful  for  the  discharge  of  so  honourable  a  service ; 
that  he  would  strengthen  you  in  true  perseverance ;  that  he 
would  give  you  true  spiritual  truth,  so  as  that  you  may  seek 
only  the  advancement  of  his  name,  without  regard  to  self; 
and  that  he  would  show  himself  your  protector  in  such  wise, 
that  you  may  feel  it  to  your  own  consolation,  and  that  others 
also  may  take  knowledge  of  it  for  their  edification.  All  the 
brethren  hereabouts  salute  you  in  the  Lord,  rejoicing  greatly 
that  he  has  wrought  so  powerfully  in  you,  having  also  com- 
passion on  you  in  your  captivity,  and  desiring  that  it  may 
please  this  gracious  God  to  unfold  his  goodness  and  mercy 
upon  you. 

Your  brother  in  our  Lord, 

John  Calvin. 

[Fr.  Printed  in  Histoire  des  MaHyrs,  Edit,  of  1597,  lib.  v.  p.  265.] 


CCLXXIII.— To  ViEET. 

Various  particulars — literary  labours  of  Theodore  Beza. 

Geneva,  24<^  January  1551. 

I  send  you  a  reading  of  three  letters,  that  I  may  not  be  any 
longer  in  your  debt.  For  Toussain  commends  himself  to  your 
prayers,  and  Farel  is  desirous  of  your  advice,  so  I  thought 
that  you  would  be  interested  in  the  letters  of  both.  I  wished 
you  to  know  also  what  answer  Haller  gave  me.  I  am  glad 
that  he  received  me  with  such  moderation,  because  of  the 
harsh  violence  with  which  many  attack  me.  But  more  of  all 
this  when  I  shall  see  you.  You  cannot  believe  how  much  I 
am  displeased  with  the  present  state  of  our  republic.  Indeed, 
it  would  be  more  proper  at  present  to  call  it  an  oligarchy. 
Accordingly,  familiar  conversation  is  not  necessary  for  the 


1551.]  THE   KING   OF   ENGLAND.  299 

discussion  of  those  matters,  Farel  had  written  me  before, 
that  the  Synod  was  to  meet  on  the  fifth  of  March.  He  seems 
to  be  wishing  advice  at  present  regarding  a  new  day  [of  meet- 
ing.] I  have  written  to  him,  however,  to  abide  by  the  day 
already  agreed  upon,  if  he  wishes  me  to  be  present.'  John 
Laski  salutes  you  all.  I  perceive  now  that  I  have  been  twice 
deceived  by  Florian.  For  he  had  false  letters  of  recommenda- 
tion, which  he  made  use  of.  Excuse  me  to  our  friend  Beza 
for  not  writing  him  at  present.  He  may  take  his  own  way 
with  the  Apocrypha,  but  I  have  forewarned  him  that  there 
will  be  a  greater  saving,  if  he  undertakes  a  new  version  of  it. 
If  he  has  any  of  the  Psalms  done,  they  need  not  be  waiting 
for  company.^  Eequest  him,  therefore,  to  send  some  of  them, 
at  least,  by  the  first  messenger.  I  shall  write  to  Vergerio  and 
the  Zurichers  by  and  by.  In  the  meantime,  if  you  can  find  a 
trustworthy  messenger,  you  will  attend  to  the  letter  to  Ber- 
nardin.  Adieu,  most  excellent  brother,  together  with  your 
wife  and  family.  Kind  regards  to  the  brethren.  May  the 
Lord  keep  you  all,  and  guide  you  by  his  Spirit. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  orig,  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  107,  a.] 


CCLXXIV.— To  THE  King  of  England.^ 

He  exhorts  him  to  persevere  in  the  work  of  the  Reformation  in  his  kingdom — enume- 
ration of  abuses — ceremonies — ecclesiastical  elections — universities. 

Fkom  Geneva,  {January  1551.) 

Sire, — If  I  must  exciise  myself  towards  your  Majesty  for 

'  In  an  assembly  which  mot  at  Neuchatel  on  the  14th  of  March  1551,  the  number 
of  individuals  who  should  compose  the  Consistory  was  fixed,  and  a  collection  of  regu- 
lations regarding  marriage  was  drawn  out. 

"  The  translation  of  the  Psalms  begun  by  Clement  Mnrot,  was  continued  by  Theo- 
dore Boza,  who  obtained,  during  this  same  year,  the  authority  of  the  Council  of  Ge- 
neva for  the  publication  of  a  part  of  his  work. 

3  Edward  VI.,  son  of  Henry  VIII.  and  Jane  Seymour,  King  of  England,  born  in 
1537,  died,  in  his  sixteenth  year,  the  8th  of  July  1553.  Gifted  with  a  precocious 
strength  of  reason,  and  a  lively  sensibility,  instructed  in  the  ancient  languages  and 
foreign  literature,  this  young  prince  did  not  live  long  enough  to  realize  the  hopes  to 


800  THE   KING   OF   ENGLAND.  [1551. 

having  used  the  boldness  to  dedicate  these  books  which  I  now 
present  to  you,  I  would  need  to  find  an  advocate  to  speak  a 
word  for  me.  For  so  far  would  my  letter  be  from  having 
credit  enough  to  do  that,  that  it  would  even  stand  in  need  of 
a  fresh  excuse.  And,  indeed,  as  I  never  should  have  taken 
upon  me  to  address  the  Commentaries  to  you  which  I  have 
published  with  your  name,  neither  should  I  have  ventured 
now  to  write  to  you,  but  for  the  confidence  I  had  already 
conceived,  that  both  would  be  well  received.  For  inasmuch 
as,  holding  me  to  be  among  the  number  of  those  who  are  zeal- 
ous for  the  advancement  of  the  kingdom  of  the  Son  of  God, 
you  have  not  disdained  to  read  what  I  did  not  specially  pre- 
sent to  your  Majesty,  I  have  thought,  that  if,  while  serving 
Jesus  Christ  my  Master,  I  could  likewise  testify  to  the  rever- 
ence and  singular  affection  which  I  bear  you,  I  could  not  fail 
to  find  a  kind  and  courteous  acceptance. 

Moreover,  Sire,  holding  myself  assured  that  my  letter  will 
have  such  a  reception  from  you  as  I  desire,  I  shall  not  hesi- 
tate to  pray  and  beseech  you  in  the  name  of  Him  to  whom  you 
ascribe  all  authority  and  power,  to  take  courage  in  following 
out  what  you  have  so  well  and  happily  begun,  as  well  in  your 
own  person  as  in  the  state  of  your  kingdom  ;  namely,  the  con- 
secration of  all  to  God  and  to  our  blessed  Saviour,  who  has  so 
dearly  purchased  us.  For  as  regards  general  reformation,  it 
is  not  so  well  established,  as  that  it  should  be  wise  to  look  on 
it  as  achieved.  And,  in  fact,  it  would  be  very  difficult  to 
purge  in  a  day  such  an  abyss  of  superstition  as  there  is  in  the 
papacy.  Its  root  is  too  deep,  and  has  expanded  itself  too 
widely,  to  get  so  soon  to  the  bottoni  of  it.     Bat  whatsoever 

which  his  accession  to  the  throne  had  given  birth.  "His  virtues,"  says  the  historian 
Hume,  "had  made  him  an  object  of  tender  affection  to  the  public.  He  possessed 
mildness  of  disposition,  application  to  study  and  business,  a  capacitj'  to  learn  and 
judge,  and  an  attachment  to  equity  and  justice."  Devotional  reading  had  a  particu- 
lar attraction  for  this  prince,  who  was  heartily  devoted  to  the  cause  of  the  Reforma- 
tion. Calvin  dedicated  two  of  his  commentaries  to  him  :  Joannis  Calvini  Commen- 
tarii  in  leaaiam  Prophetam,  Eduardo  VI.,  Anglice  Regi,  8  Cal.  Januarii  1551." 
"  Joannie  Calvini  Commentarii  in  Ejnatolaa  Canonicaa."  The  dedication  of  the  first 
of  these  commentaries  (25th  December  1550)  furnishes  us  the  date  of  the  letter  of 
Calvin,  written  in  the  month  of  January  1551,  and  brought  to  the  King  by  the  min- 
ister, Nicolas  dos  Gallars. 


1551.]  THE   KING   OF   ENGLAND.  301 

difficulties  or  delays  there  may  be,  the  excellency  of  the  work 
is  well  worthy  of  unwearying  pursuit. 

I  have  no  doubt,  Sire,  but  Satan  will  put  many  hindrances 
m  the  way  before  you  to  slacken  your  pace,  and  to  make  your 
zeal  grow  cold.  Your  subjects,  for  the  most  part,  do  not 
know  the  blessing  which  you  procure  for  them.  The  great, 
who  are  raised  to  honour,  are  sometimes  too  wise  in  their  own 
conceits  to  make  much  account  of  the  word,  far  less  to  look 
to  God  at  all.  And  new  and  unexpected  conflicts  arise  daily. 
Now  I  hope,  indeed,  Sire,  that  God  has  stored  you  with  such 
greatness  and  constancy  of  mind,  that  you  will  neither  be 
weakened  nor  wearied  by  all  that.  But  the  thing  itself  is  of 
so  great  importance,  that  it  well  deserves  that  one  should 
apply  to  it  far  more  than  human  strength  and  energy.  And 
then,  after  all,  when  we  shall  have  striven  to  the  very  utter- 
most, there  will  always  remain  more  waiting  to  be  done. 

We  see  how,  in  the  time  of  the  good  King  Josiah,  who  has 
the  special  testi^mony  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  that  he  approved 
himself  a  prince  excellent  in  faith,  in  zeal,  and  in  all  godliness ; 
nevertheless,  the  Prophet  Zephaniah  shows,  that  there  was  still 
some  remainder  of  bygone  superstitions,  yea,  even  in  the  city 
of  Jerusalem.  Even  so,  however  you  may  labour  with  your 
Council,  Sire,  you  will  find  it  very  difficult  completely  to  up- 
root all  the  mischief  which  would  well  deserve  to  be  corrected. 
But  this  ought  to  be  a  great  confirmation  to  animate  and  spur 
you  on  ;  and  even  if  you  should  not  accomplish  all  that  could 
be  desired,  it  is  a  very  sufficient  consolation  to  you,  when  you 
bear  that  the  pains  which  this  good  king  took,  is  a  service 
pleasing  to  God,  insomuch  that  the  Holy  Spirit  magnifies  the 
reformation  effected  by  him,  as  if  nothing  more  had  been  de- 
sired. Let  me  entreat  you  then,  Sire,  to  reach  forward  to  the 
mark  which  is  set  before  you  in  the  example  of  this  godly 
king,  that  you  may  have  the  honour,  not  only  of  having  over- 
thrown impieties  which  are  clearly  repugnant  to  the  honour 
and  service  of  God,  but  also  of  having  abolished  and  razed  to 
the  ground,  whatsoever  served  merely  to  nourish  superstition. 
For  when  God  would  praise  as  with  an  open  mouth  the  faith- 
ful princes  who  have  restored  and  again  set  up  the  purity  of 


302  THE   KING   OF   ENGLAND.  [1551. 

his  service,  he  expressly  adds  this  word,  that  they  have  also 
tahen  away  the  high  places^  that  the  memory  of  foolish  devo- 
tions might  be  utterly  obliterated. 

True  it  is,  Sire,  that  there  are  things  indifferent  which  one 
may  allowably  tolerate.  But  then  we  must  always  carefully 
insist  that  simplicity  and  order  be  observed  in  the  use  of  cere- 
monies, so  that  the  clear  light  of  the  Gospel  be  not  obscured 
by  them,  as  if  we  were  still  under  the  shadows  of  the  law ; 
and  then  that  there  may  be  nothing  allowed  that  is  not  in 
agreement  and  conformity  to  the  order  established  by  the  Son 
of  God,  and  that  the  whole  may  serve  and  be  suited  to  the 
edification  of  the  Church.  For  God  does  not  allow  his  name 
to  be  trifled  with, — mixing  up  silly  frivolities  with  his  holy 
and  sacred  ordinances.  Then  there  are  manifest  abuses  which 
cannot  be  endured,  such  as  prayer  for  the  souls  of  the  de- 
parted, of  putting  forward  to  God  the  intercession  of  saints 
in  our  prayers,  as  also  of  joining  them  to  God  in  invocation. 
I  do  not  doubt.  Sire,  that  you  are  aware  that  these  are  so  many 
corruptions  of  true  Christianity.  I  beseech  you,  in  the  name 
of  God,  that  you  may  please  look  to  that  matter,  so  that  the 
whole  may  be  restored  to  a  sound  and  wholesome  state. 

There  is  another  point.  Sire,  of  which  you  ought  to  take  a 
special  charge,  namely,  that  the  poor  flocks  may  not  be  des- 
titute of  pastors.  Ignorance  and  barbarism  have  lain  so  heavy 
on  this  accursed  popery,  that  it  is  not  easy  to  obtain  all  at 
once  men  fit  and  duly  qualified  to  discharge  that  office.  Not- 
withstanding, the  object  is  well  worth  pains,  and  that  your 
officers.  Sire,  should  have  an  eye  upon  it,  as  they  ought. 
Without  that,  all  the  good  and  holy  ordinances  which  you 
can  make,  will  scarce  avail  for  the  reformation  of  the  heart  in 
good  earnest. 

Further,  inasmuch  as  the  schools  contain  the  seeds  of  the 
ministry,  there  is  much  need  to  keep  them  pure  and  thoroughly 
free  from  all  ill  weeds.  I  speak  thus,  Sire,  because  in  j'-our 
universities,  it  is  commonly  said,  there  are  many  young  peo- 
ple supported  on  the  college  bursaries,  who,  instead  of  giving 
good  hope  of  service  in  the  Church,  rather  show  an  inclina- 
tion to  do  mischief,  and  to  ruin  it,  not  even  concealing  that 


1551.]  THE   KING   OF   ENGLAND.  303 

they  are  opposed  to  the  true  religion.  Wherefore,  Sire,  I  be- 
seech you  anew,  in  the  name  of  God,  that  you  may  please  to 
take  order  therein,  to  the  effect,  that  property  which  ought  to 
be  held  sacred,  be  not  converted  to  profane  uses,  and  far  less 
to  nourish  venomous  reptiles,  who  would  desire  nought  better 
than  to  infect  everything  for  the  future.  For,  in  this  way,  the 
Gospel  would  always  be  kept  back  by  these  schools,  which 
ought  to  be  the  very  pillars  thereof. 

Meanwhile,  Sire,  all  honest  hearts  praise  God,  and  feel  them- 
selves greatly  obliged  to  you,  that  it  hath  pleased  you  of  your 
favour  to  grant  churches  to  your  subjects  who  use  the  French 
and  German  languages.'  In  so  far  as  regards  the  use  of  the 
Sacraments,  and  spiritual  order,  I  hope  that  the  permission 
which  you  have  been  pleased  to  confer  upon  them  will  bear 
fruit.  Howbeit,  Sire,  I  cannot  help  beseeching  you  once  more, 
feeling  so  deeply  how  needful  it  is,  not  only  that  you  would 
secure  the  rest  and  contentment  of  the  godly  who  desire  to 
serve  God  and  to  live  peaceably  in  obedience  to  you,  but  also 
that  you  would  restrain  vagabond  and  dissolute  people,  should 
such  withdraw  into  your  kingdom. 

I  know  well,  Sire,  that  you  have  people  of  distinguished 
learning  at  hand,  who  can  make  known  to  you  these  things 
by  word  of  mouth,  far  better  than  myself  by  writing;  also, 
that  in  your  council  you  have  men  of  prudence  and  zeal  to 
suggest  all  that  is  expedient.  Among  the  others,  I  have  no 
doubt  that  Monsieur  the  Duke  of  Somerset  spares  no  trouble 
to  follow  out  that  wherein  he  has  employed  himself  so  faith- 
fully hitherto.     But  I  believe,  Sire,  that  all  that  shall  be  no 


'  The  privilege  granted  by  King  Edward  VI.  to  the  Church  of  the  foreign  Pro- 
testants instituted  at  London  1550.  The  royal  patent  was  thus  expressed  : — "Con- 
sidering that  it  is  the  duty  of  a  Christian  prince  well  to  administer  the  affairs  of  his 
kingdom,  to  provide  for  religion,  and  for  the  unhappy  exiles,  afflicted  and  banished 
by  reason  thereof,  we  would  have  you  to  know,  that  having  compassion  of  the  con- 
dition of  those  who  have  for  some  considerable  time  past  been  domiciled  in  our  king- 
dom, and  come  there  daily,  of  our  special  grace  ....  will  and  ordain  that 
henceforward  they  may  have  in  our  city  of  London  a  church,  to  be  called  the  Church 
of  the  Lord  Jesus,  where  the  assembly  of  the  Germans  and  other  strangers  can  meet 
and  worship,  for  the  purpose  of  having  the  Gospel  purely  interpreted  by  the  ministers 
of  their  church,  and  the  Sacraments  administered  according  to  the  word  of  Gud  and 
the  apostolic  ordinance." 


804  BULLINGER.  [1551. 

hindrance  to  prevent  your  kind  reception  of  what  you  will 
recognize  as  proceeding  from  a  like  source. 

To  conclude,  Sire,  forasmuch  as  I  fear  to  have  already 
wearied  you  with  my  tediousness,  I  pray  you,  in  respect  of 
that  as  in  everything  else,  that  you  would  please  excuse  and 
pardon  me  of  your  kind  favour,  to  which  very  humbly  I  beg 
to  be  commended,  having  besought  our  gracious  God  and  Fa- 
ther to  maintain  and  uphold  you  in  his  holy  protection,  to 
guide  you  by  his  Spirit,  and  to  cause  his  name  to  be  more  and 
more  glorified  by  you. 

John  Calvin. 

[Fr.  copy, — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  107.] 


CCLXXV.— To  BULLINGER.i 

He  excuses  the  infrequcncy  of  his  letters,  and  urges  the  publication  of  the  Consensus. 

Geneva,  I'lth  February  1551. 

Although  you  readily  excuse  the  fewness  of  my  letters,  and 
even,  with  your  usual  courtesy,  voluntarily  relieve  me  of  that 
duty,  I  nevertheless  feel  ashamed  of  my  exceeding  indolence 
and  negligence,  in  having  been  less  attentive  to  you  than  to 
some  of  my  every-day  friends.  But  indeed  the  reason  of  this 
is,  that  others,  by  their  violent  importunity,  shake  me  free  of 
my  listlessness.  You,  with  a  more  generous  indulgence,  allow 
me  to  be  silent;  and  indeed  I  am  so  much  exhausted  by  con- 
stant writing,  and  so  greatly  broken  down  by  fatigue,  that  I 
frequently  feel  an  almost  positive  aversion  to  writing  a  letter. 
Would  that  others  had  as  much  of  your  moderation  as  would 

'  The  agreement  concluded  two  years  before,  between  the  Churches  of  Geneva  and 
of  Zurich,  on  the  question  of  the  Sacraments,  had  been  a  source  of  joy  to  all  the  sober- 
minded  in  Switzerland  and  in  Germany,  who  had  deplored  the  excesses  of  the  sacra- 
mental quarrel.  But  it  displeased  the  intemperate  Lutheran  party,  who  accused 
Calvin  of  fickleness,  and  went  so  far  as  to  charge  him  with  having  changed  his 
opinions,  and  with  squaring  his  doctrine  to  that  of  Zuingle,  since  the  defeat  of  the 
Protestant  party  in  Germany.  This  was  nothing  but  a  calumny,  which  is  removed 
by  a  comparison  of  the  previous  writings  of  Calvin  upon  the  Supper,  with  the  formula 
drawn  up  under  his  care  and  which  he  was  desirous  should  be  published  at  Zurich. — 
Kuchat,  torn.  v.  p.  379. 


1551.]  BULLINQER.  305 

enable  tlicm  to  cultivate  a  sincere  friendship  at  the  expense  of 
less  writing.  Our  French  friends  oppress  me  in  this  way 
beyond  all  consideration.  It  so  happens,  that  by  continually 
apologizing,  I  am  getting  myself  suspected  of  indolence  by  my 
particular  friends.  Add  to  this,  that  unless  I  have  a  dermitc 
subject  before  me,  I  seem  to  act  absurdly  enough  when  I  drag 
in  matters  known  to  everybody,  as  if  they  were  possessed  of 
novelty.  But  as  to  what  you  say  you  wrote  me  about  some 
time  ago,  without  receiving  any  answer,  I  cannot  make  out 
what  you  refer  to,  unless,  as  I  conjecture,  you  had  sent  me  some 
communication  which  did  not  reach  me.  If  such  be  the  case, 
I  shall  not  neglect  to  look  after  it,  now  that  you  have  given  me 
the  hint.  As  certain  individuals  of  a  malignant,  morose,  and 
ill-natured  disposition,  are  making  an  ado  about  our  union,  I 
should,  if  agreeable  to  you,  wish  it  to  be  published.'  I  have 
calmly  endured,  overlooked,  and  swallowed  many  things,  but, 
believe  me,  I  have  failed  to  observe  that  it  was  greatly  dis- 
pleasing to  Satan.  If  the  form  of  the  union  is  published,  I 
trust  it  will  be  useful  to  the  Churches  of  Saxony.  However, 
you  will,  with  your  accustomed  sagacity,  determine  upon  what 
is  best.  When  numbers  were  asking  for  copies  of  it,  I  would 
on  no  account  allow  it  to  be  printed,  until  I  should  obtain  your 
permission.  I  wrote  you  about  the  matter  on  a  previous  occa- 
sion, but  inferred  from  your  silence  that  you  considered  it  as 
yet  premature.  I  should  wish,  however,  that  you  would  give 
me  your  judgment  on  it.  You  did  me  a  favour  concerning 
the  Bull.  Had  I  received  it  two  days  earlier,  it  would  have 
been  of  more  use  to  me.  For  I  had  already  entered  upon 
the  composition  of  the  preface,  in  which  that  subject  is  dis- 
cussed. I  send  you  a  copy  of  it,  if  you  can  find  time  to  read 
it.  I  wish,  however,  that  you  would  send  it  to  Yergerio, 
together  with  the  letter,  at  your  earliest  opportunity.     The 

'  Some  have  erroneously  fixed  on  1549  as  the  date  of  this  publication.  Delayed  by 
the  theologians  of  Zurich  it  was  only  finished  in  1551,  under  the  title — Coiisensio 
mutua  in  re  Sacramentaria  miniBtrorum  Ti'gurince  Ecclesice  et  £>.  Joanni's  Ccihiiii  Min- 
istri  Geyicvcnsis  Ecchnite.  Zurich,  8vo.  Caused  by  Calvin  to  be  translated  into 
French  the  following  year,  this  important  document  figures  in  the  Eecitcil  den  Opuscules, 
p.  1137,  with  a  preface  by  Calvin  to  the  Ministers  and  Doctors  of  the  Church  of 
Zurich. 
39 


806  BULLINGER.  [1551. 

Bull  is  possessed  of  one  merit,  viz.,  tliat  the  Pope  breathes 
out  downright  tyranny  without  any  show  of  deceit.  We 
must,  therefore,  as  you  say,  find  refuge  in  prayer.  It  is  said 
that  Germany  will  have  rest  this  year  from  internal  war,  as 
the  Turk  is  annoying  Ferdinand.  But  as  it  is  the  Lord  who 
quiets  all  tumults  of  arms,  we  should  pray  him  to  put  a 
check  in  all  other  respects,  upon  the  savage  madness  of  our 
enemies. 

Adieu,  distinguished  sir,  and  specially  revered  brother. 
Salute  your  family  and  your  colleagues  in  my  name,  and  in 
that  of  my  brethren.  May  the  Lord  watch  over  you,  be  pre- 
sent with  you,  and  continue  to  guide  you. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lai.  orig.  autogr. — Coll.  of  M.  Moudin  at  Geneva.] 


CCLXXYL— To  BULLINGER. 

Thants  for  a  document — dedication  of  two  commentaries  to  the  King  of  England — 
captivity  of  Bishop  Hooper — movements  of  the  Emperor  in  Germany. 

Geneva,  12ih  March  1551. 

I  was  met  by  a  messenger  bearing  your  letter,  when  lately 
on  my  way  to  Neuchatel.  After  my  return  home,  I  received 
another  from  a  certain  Italian,  together  with  the  fifth  Decade.^ 
You  say  by  way  of  apology  for  sending  your  books,  that  you 
do  not  do  so  in  order  that  I  may  learn  from  you  ;  for  my  part, 
as  I  am  desirous  to  make  my  labours  beneficial  to  all  good 
men,  so  on  the  other  hand,  I  am  glad  to  profit  by  the  writings 
of  others.  And  indeed  intercourse  like  this  is  brotherly, 
■when  we  know  that  the  gifi;s  of  the  Spirit  are  so  distributed 
among  us,  that  no  one  individual  is  sufficient  for  himself. 
Your  gift  was,  therefore,  acceptable  to  me.  The  publication 
of  our  agreement  was  the  occasion  of  very  much  joy,  not  only 
to  myself,  but  also  to  Farel  and  the  rest  of  the  brethren 
Would  that  your  letter  had  reached  me  fifteen  days  earlier ; 

'  Under  this  title,  Bullinger  had  commenced  publishing  a  series  of  discourses  con- 
cerning the  principal  points  of  the  Christian  religion. 


1551.]  BULLINGER  307 

for  it  might  have  been  issued  during  these  days  of  the  Frank- 
fort fair.  How  seasonable  will  the  publication  be  for  our  be- 
loved France ;  exceedingly  useful  too,  I  hope.  I  finished 
lately  my  Commentaries  on  Isaiah  and  the  Canonical  Epistles. 
I  thought  proper  to  dedicate  both  of  them  to  the  King  of 
England.'  You  may  have  a  reading  of  a  copy  of  one  of  the 
prefaces  which  I  sent  to  Vergerio.  I  have  added  a  private 
letter  also,  in  which  I  have  endeavoured  to  kindle  the  generous 
nature  of  the  young  man.  Meanwhile,  we  have  heard  the  sad 
news  of  Hooper's  imprisonment.^  I  was  somewhat  apprehen- 
sive of  this  long  ago.  I  am  now  afraid  that  the  bishops,  as 
if  victorious,  will  become  much  more  ferociously  insolent. 
While,  therefore,  I  admire  his  firmness  in  refusing  the  anoint- 
ing, I  had  rather  he  had  not  carried  his  opposition  so  far  with 
respect  to  the  cap  and  the  linen  vestment,  even  although  I  do 
not  approve  of  these :  I  recently  recommended  this.  He  has 
many  and  powerful  adversaries,  and  I  doubt  not  but  they  will 
set  themselves  violently  to  crush  him.  But  I  trust  that  the 
Lord  will  be  with  him,  especially  because,  as  I  am  informed, 
some  treacherously  oppose  him,  who  in  other  respects  pretend 
to  be  favourable  to  the  Gospel.  I  congratulate  you  on  the 
tranquil  condition  of  your  Church.  There  are  very  vile 
wretches  here  who  cause  us  no  small  amount  of  annoyance 
and  disquiet,  who  will  meet,  however,  I  confidently  trust,  with 
the  end  which  they  have  merited.  The  plans  of  the  Emperor 
are  a  source  of  concern  to  many.  It  is  justly  calculated  to 
excite  suspicion  that  some  of  his  troops  are  being  transported 
across  the  Alps.''  Should  he  invade  this  country,  my  only 
comfort  is  the  hope  that  the  Lord  will  take  me  away  from  this 
miserable  life.     He  will  not,  meanwhile,  neglect  his  own  flock, 

'  See  the  letter  to  the  king,  p.  299. 

"  Having  returned  to  England  the  previous  year,  and  having  been  appointed  Bishop 
of  Gloucester  through  the  patronage  of  Cranmer,  Hooper  was  imprisoned  and  suffered 
a  few  days  of  captivity  for  having  refused  to  wear,  at  the  time  of  his  consecration,  the 
sacerdotal  dress  then  in  use  in  the  English  Church.  See  his  correspondence  with 
Bullinger,  Zurich  Letters,  15.37-1558,  torn.  i.  p.  9;  Burnet,  vol.  i. 

^  After  having  proscribed  the  Reformed  worship  in  the  town  of  Augsburg,  the  Em- 
peror took  up  his  quarters  at  Inspruck,  among  the  valleys  of  the  Tyrol,  from  which 
he  could  keep  an  eye  at  once  upon  the  Council  of  Trent,  Germany,  and  Italy. — Ro- 
bertson, book  X. 


808  BULLINGER.  [1551. 

about  which  I  am  especially  harassed.  Adieu,  very  distin- 
guished sir,  and  most  esteemed  fellow-minister,  together  with 
the  brethren  ;  all  of  whom  you  will  affectionately  salute  in 
my  name.  Des  Gallars  also  particularly  salutes  you.  May 
the  Lord  continue  to  guide  you  by  his  Spirit,  to  protect  you 
with  his  own  hand,  and  to  bless  your  sacred  labours.  Amen. 
[Calvin''s  Lat.  Corresp.     Opera,  torn.  ix.  p.  59.] 


CCLXXVII.— To  BULLINGER. 

Mention  of  a  letter  to  the  Duke  of  Somerset — Re-opening  of  tlie  Council  of  Trent 
—symptoms  of  war  in  Europe. 

Geneva,  10th  April  1551, 

I  have  received  two  letters  from  you  within  these  few  days, 
both  full  of  remarkable  good-will  towards  me,  and  therefore 
very  agreeable.  It  is  well  that  God  has  not  only  bestowed  on 
us  the  same  desire  to  incite  the  English  King  and  his  advisers 
to  go  on,  but  has  also  made  our  plans  so  fitly  to  harmonize.* 
This  circumstance  will  surely  have  some  influence  in  confirm- 
ing them.  I  begin  now  to  look  every  day  for  the  return  of  the 
messenger  who  carried  thither  my  books  with  the  accompany- 
ing letter.  As  soon  as  he  returns,  if  he  report  anything  worthy 
of  mention,  I  shall  take  care  to  inform  you  of  it.  Meanwhile, 
I  have  written  to  the  very  illustrious  the  Duke  of  Somerset, 
and  have  shown  him  that  it  is  impossible  but  that  the  Papists 
will  become  more  insolent,  unless  the  disagreement  regarding 
the  ceremonies  be  speedily  adjusted.^  I  have  advised  him  to 
extend  a  hand  to  Hooper.  Whatever  the  Pope  may  pretend, 
I  do  not  think  that  the  Council  of  Trent  is  being  seriously 

'  Bullinger  had  presented  the  King  of  England  with  his  third  and  fourth  Decade, 
(see  note  1,  p.  306,)  with  a  long  letter,  in  which  he  reminds  the  young  king  of  the 
duties  which  he  had  to  fulfil  towards  his  subjects.  "  This  epistle  and  book  were  pre- 
sented to  the  King  by  the  hands  of  Hooper,  Bishop  of  Gloucester,  personally  ac- 
quainted with  Bullinger,  to  whom  the  King  declared  his  good  acceptance  thereof,  and 
the  respect  and  esteem  he  had  for  the  reverend  author." — Strype,  Memoir,  vol.  ii.  pp. 
390,  394. 

"  The  letter  here  referred  to  has  escaped  all  our  investigations,  and  appeai-s  to  be 
entirely  lost. 


1551.]  BULLINGER.  809 

assembled.'  The  reason  for  my  conjecture  is,  tliat  the  King  of 
France  commanded  all  bis  bisbops  to  make  a  careful  survey, 
each  of  bis  own  diocese,  and  to  return  completed  records  of 
eacb  visitation  to  the  metropolitan  bisbops  within  six  months  ; 
and  informed  them  that  it  was  his  intention  to  hold  a  general 
council  of  the  whole  kingdom.  No  mention  was  made  on  that 
occasion  of  Trent  and  the  Pope.  I  have  no  doubt,  however, 
but  that  there  was  an  understanding  between  them  ;  namely, 
that  the  French  King  should,  to  gain  the  favour  of  the  Pope, 
by  the  pretence  of  a  national  council,  dissolve  that  at  Trent. 
Thoughtful  men  are  of  opinion  that  the  flames  of  war  have 
been  kindled  in  Italy.  The  Turkish  ambassador  is  at  present 
at  the  French  court  to  stimulate  the  king  to  war.  An  immense 
fleet  threatens  Italy  or  Spain.  The  Lord  will  accordingly  so 
overrule  them,  as  that  they  will  not  be  so  dangerous  to  the 
Church.  It  was  not  kind  of  you,  when  you  knew  that  my 
course  would  lie  in  your  direction  when  on  my  way  to  Trent, 
not  to  offer  lodgings  to  at  least  one  of  us.  You  perhaps  expect 
a  new  Bull  which  will  admit  us.^  We  are  not,  however,  of  the 
number  of  those  who  obtain  a  place,  either  from  right  or  cus- 
tom, or  the  favour  of  the  Apostolic  See.  We  may  accordingly 
remain  at  home.  Yet  there  is  something  for  us  to  do  even  at 
home.  For  Christ  furnishes  material  for  labour,  and  Satan 
does  not  permit  us  to  be  idle.  You  will  pardon  my  haste. 
For  when  these  young  Germans  offered  me  their  services,  they 
gave  me  only  an  hour  for  writing,  and  it  has  almost  expired. 
Adieu,  most  accomplished  sir,  and  very  dear  brother,  worthy 
of  my  hearty  regard.  My  colleagues  respectfully  salute  you. 
They  and  I  present  kindest  salutations  to  Bibliander,  Pellican, 

'  One  of  the  first  acts  of  the  new  Pope,  Julius  III,  was  to  decree  the  re-asseiably 
of  the  Council  of  Trent,  on  the  1st  of  May  1551.  This  session,  termed  the  eleventh 
— eight  having  been  held  at  Trent  and  two  at  Bologna — was  without  result.  The 
fathers  resolved  upon  fixing  that  there  should  not  be  another  assembly  until  the  1st 
of  September. — Fra  Paolo,  Htst.  du  Concile  de  Trente,  lib.  iv.  sect.  i. 

"  An  invitation  to  the  Council  was,  in  point  of  fact,  addressed  by  the  Pope  to  the 
Cantons,  with  all  sorts  of  flattering  words,  to  induce  them  to  comply.  The  theolo- 
gians of  Zurich,  appointed  to  draw  up  a  reply,  had  little  difficulty  in  showing  that 
the  Council  was  not  fur  the  advantage  of  the  Swiss,  or  for  the  good  of  religion,  and 
the  Reformed  Cantons  adopted  unanimously  the  conclusions  of  the  theologians,  and 
refused  to  send  deputies  to  the  Council. — Rucbat,  torn.  v.  p.  426. 


810  VIEET.  [1551. 

and  Gualter,  and  the  rest  of  the  brethren.  May  the  Lord  pre- 
serve you  all  by  his  power,  direct  you  by  his  Spirit,  and  bless 
your  labours.  Our  agreement  was  not  so  carefully  expressed  in 
Latin  as  I  could  have  wished ;  but  it  will  soon  be  printed 
again.  Meantime,  I  have  added  a  French  translation,  to  the 
Latin,  in  which  you  will  not  find  any  blunders.     Yours  truly, 

John  Calvin. 

[Calvin's  Lat.  Corresp.    Opera,  torn.  ix.  p.  60.] 


CCLXXYIIL— To  YiEET.i 

Death  of  Bucer  and  of  Joachim  Vadian. 

Geneva,  10^^  Maij  1551. 

Although  you  have  received  no  letters  from  me  for  a  consi- 
derable time,  let  me  tell  you,  that  you  have,  on  that  account, 
been  a  source  of  constant  and  even  anxious  thought  to  me. 
The  grief  which  I  have  suffered  at  the  death  of  Bucer  increases 
my  anxiety  and  fear.  I  have  now  again  experienced  a  fresh 
■wound  from  the  death  of  Yadian,  whose  labour,  although  of 
wide  influence,  and  calculated  to  be  felt  throughout  the  entire 
Church,  was  nevertheless  of  especial  use  in  the  state,  and  of 
great  importance  among  the  Swiss  and  Grisons  in  particu- 
lar. I  feel  my  heart  almost  like  to  break  when  I  think  of  the 
great  loss  the  Church  of  God  has  sustained  in  the  death  of 
Bucer.     The  Lord  grant  that  I  may  leave  in  life  all   those 

'  The  year  1551  was  marked  by  two  grievous  losses  to  the  Reformed  churches  of 
Europe.  Bucer,  overcome  by  the  sorrows  of  exile,  died  in  England  on  the  28th  of 
February,  and  the  decease  of  Joachim  Vadian,  one  of  the  most  brilliant  minds  of 
that  age,  occurred  at  Saint  Gall  during  the  same  year.  The  earliest  notice  of  Bucer's 
death  is  to  be  found  in  the  Journal  of  King  Edward  VI.  of  England: — "February/ 
28th. — The  learned  man  Bucerus  died  at  Cambridge,  who  was  two  days  after  buried 
in  St.  Mary's  Church,  all  the  whole  University,  with  the  whole  town,  bringing  him 
to  the  grave,  to  the  number  of  three  thousand  persons.  Also  there  was  an  oration  of 
Mr.  Iladdon  made  very  elegantly  at  his  death.  .  ."  &c. — Zurich  Letters,  first  series, 
torn.  ii.  p.  492.  Vadian,  cut  off  in  the  prime  of  life,  breathed  his  last  in  the  arms  of 
his  friend  Kessler,  the  poet,  leaving  behind  him  a  name  held  in  deep  veneration  by 
his  friends  and  countrymen.  Above  two  thousand  of  the  present  inhabitants  of  Saint 
Gall  claim  the  honour  of  being  descended  from  the  burgomaster  Vadian.  See  the 
notice  of  him  given  in  the  present  collection,  vol.  i.  p.  475. 


1551.]  FAREL.  311 

whose  death  I  should  mourn,  that  I  may  the  more  joyfully 
leave  the  world. 

Adieu,  most  excellent  brother.  May  the  Lord  keep  you 
together  with  your  wife  and  family.  Salute  all  earnestly  in 
my  name. 

John  Calvin. 

[Calvin's  Lot.  Corresp.    Opera,  torn.  is.  p.  60.] 


CCLXXIX.— To  Farel. 

Renewed  expressions  of  regret  for  the  death  of  Vadian  and  Bucer — controversies  ex- 
cited by  Osiandor — numerous  migrations  to  Geneva — commencement  of  hostilities 
in  Italy. 

Geneva,  \bth  June  1551. 

Nicolas'  has  at  length  returned  from  England,  having  been 
detained  for  eleven  days  by  head  winds,  and  afterwards  tossed 
about  by  so  severe  a  tempest,  that  he  scarcely  escaped  ship- 
wreck. He  reports  that  he  was  so  kindly  and  affectionately 
received,  that  I  have  good  reason  to  congratulate  myself  that 
my  labour  was  spent  to  the  best  advantage.  After  having  de- 
livered my  letter  to  the  Duke  of  Somerset,  and  having  said 
that  he  had  another  also  for  the  King,  the  Duke  himself  under- 
took the  duty  of  presenting  it,  and  on  the  following  day  set 
out  for  the  Court.  If  I  am  not  deceived,  the  work  not  only 
greatly  pleased  the  Royal  Council,  but  also  filled  the  King 
himself  with  extraordinary  delight.  The  Archbishop  of 
Canterbury  informed  me  that  I  could  do  nothing  more  useful 
than  to  write  to  the  King  more  frequently.  This  gave  me 
more  pleasure  than  if  I  had  come  to  the  possession  of  a  great 
sum  of  money.  In  the  present  state  of  the  kingdom,  many 
things  are  still  to  be  desired.  Among  other  evils  that  are  in- 
curable until  the  King  shall  have  attained  his  majority,  there 
is  this  one:  that  all  the  revenues  of  the  Church  are  devoured 
by  the  nobles,  and  they  are  meanwhile  hiring  for  a  miserable  pit- 
tance, worthless  men  to  discharge  the  duties,  or  at  least  occupy 
the  position  of  pastors.     I  nevertheless  will  not  cease  to  goad 

'Nicolas  des  Gallars. 


312  FAREL.  [1551. 

the  whole  of  them.  I  did  not  allude  to  the  death  of  Bacer, 
lest  I  should  open  my  own  wound  afresh.'  For  when  I  reflect 
how  great  a  loss  the  Church  of  God  has  sustained  in  the  death 
of  this  one  man,  I  cannot  but  feel  the  deepest  anguish.  He 
would  have  been  of  great  advantage  to  England.  I  was  ex- 
pecting more  from  his  future  writings,  than  anything  he  had 
hitherto  performed.  In  addition  to  this,  the  Church  is  now 
destitute  of  faithful  teachers.  Vadian  had  very  great  influence 
among  the  Swiss.^  The  Lord  has  taken  him  away.  Osiander 
is  absolutely  mad.''  Let  us  take  courage,  however,  until  we 
shall  have  finished  our  course  and  reached  the  goal.  One  thing 
I  fear,  that  while  holding  a  place  among  the  runners,  I  may  set 
an  example  of  slowness.  Yet  I  am  not  a  little  comforted  by 
this,  that  you,  who  have  outstripped  all  others,  extend  to  me 
so  much  pardon  and  mild  indulgence.  It  is  sufficient,  if,  not 
led  away  by  the  unsettled  wanderings  of  others,  we  hold  on  in 
the  right  way ;  even  although  some  get  far  ahead  of  us,  and 
others  lag  a  great  way  behind.  As  for  our  old  friend  with  the 
new  face,'*  I  shall  for  my  part  be  careful  to  encourage  him,  as 
you  urgently  advise,  and  shall  give  my  colleagues  a  hint  to  do 
the  same.  But  believe  me,  he  manifests  no  sincerity.  I  sur- 
mised from  the  first  what  he  was  wishing  to  be  at.  I  concealed 
that  I  had  detected  it;  kept  my  hand  on  it,  as  it  were.  He 
patronizes,  as  he  used  to  do,  persons  given  over  to  shameless 
pleasures.  He  is  in  like  manner  given  to  defend  bad  causes. 
His  arrogance  and  ferocity  are  in  no  degree  abated.     His  cohort 

'  In  a  letter  to  Calvin  of  the  25th  May  preceding,  Farel  gave  eloquent  expression 
to  his  sorrow  at  the  death  of  Bucer  : — "  I  have  at  length  received  the  last  letter  of  the 
pious  Bucer.  What  a  spirit !  How  calmly  he  sunk  down  !  We  must  mingle  joy  with 
our  sorrow,  inasmuch  as  our  friend  has  gone  up  to  God." — Library  of  Paris.  Reoueil 
Historique  de  France,  torn.  xix. 

"  A  man  of  distinguished  learning,  an  accomplished  statesman,  and  an  able 
negotiator,  as  well  as  a  theologian,  and  an  admirable  poet,  Joachim  Vadian  left  as 
wide  a  blank  in  the  political  councils,  as  he  did  in  the  churches  of  his  country.  He 
had  been  elected  eleven  times  to  the  office  of  Burgomaster  of  Saint  Gall. —  See  Melchior 
Adam,  Vitct  Jfedicorum  Germanorum  ;  and  the  Theatnun  of  Pauli  Froheri,  torn.  ii.  pp. 
1231,  1232. 

^An  allusion  to  a  recent  work  of  Osiander's  On  Justification,  which  gave  rise  to 
keen  controversy  in  Germany. — See  the  Correspondence  of  Calvin  with  Melanchthon 
in  1552. 

^  By  all  appearance  Amy  Perrin. 


1551.]  FAREL.  313 

runs  riot  more  at  will  than  ever.  Uowever,  I  sliall  so  conduct 
myself,  that  he  will  easily  perceive  that  I  am  heartily  reconciled 
to  him.  You  have  heard,  I  suppose,  what  a  mournful  proces- 
sion they  lately  made:  and  yet  so  shameful  a  butchering  of  a 
most  distinguished  citizen  has  not  restrained  their  wantonness. 
As  to  Christopher's  asking  me  to  attend  their  suppers,  I  have, 
hitherto,  indeed,  refused  none  of  them:  but  when  the  duties  were 
intrusted  to  Ambard  Corne,  he,  by  his  procrastination,  broke 
in  upon  the  established  order.  I  am,  in  the  meantime,  much 
occupied  with  foreigners,  who  daily  pass  through  this  place  in 
great  numbers,  or  who  have  come  hither  to  take  up  their  abode.' 
Among  others,  the  Marquis  de  Vico,  a  ISTeapolitan,  arrived 
lately.  Another  will  follow  by  and  by.  Should  you  pay  us 
a  visit  next  autumn,  you  will  find  our  city  considerably  in- 
creased— a  pleasing  spectacle  to  me,  if  they  do  not  overwhelm 
me  with  their  visits.  Yiret  was  here  lately,  but  he  went  off 
sooner  than  I  could  have  wished.  There  is  already  open  war 
between  the  Pontiff  and  the  French.^  There  is  a  rumour,  that 
all  the  Cardinals  who  sided  with  the  King,  have  fled  from  Rome. 
If  the  Emperor  is  to  be  involved  in  this  war,  he  will  be  forced 
to  give  some  relief  to  Magdeburg,  and  those  places  allied  with 
it.  Adieu,  most  upright  brother;  salute  my  friends  earnestly, 
both  your  colleague  and  the  other  fellow-ministers.  Ours  also 
send  kindest  regards  to  you,  viz.,  my  colleagues,  Normandie, 
Bude,  Trier,  Saint  Laurent,  the  two  Colladons,  and  my  brother. 
May  the  Lord  long  spare  you  to  us;  may  he  shine  on  you 
with  his  Spirit,  bless  your  holy  endeavours,  and  watch  over 
the  Church  committed  to  your  care! — Yours, 

John  Calvix. 

[Calvin''s  Lat.  Corresp.     Opera,  torn.  ix.  p.  240.] 

'  The  number  of  refugees  daily  increasing  at  Geneva,  permission  was  granted  them 
to  assemljle  together  for  public  worship  in  their  own  languages.  English  was  preached 
at  the  Auditoire,  Italian  at  the  College,  Spanish  at  Saint  Gervais,  and  Flemish  in 
Saint  Germain.  The  unity  of  the  Spirit  shone  through  the  diversity  of  languages. — 
Bpon  and  Picot,  Jliatoire  de  Genive. 

'The  Pope  and  the  King  of  France  were  at  that  time  engaged  in  a  struggle  about 
the  town  of  Parma,  which  the  former  wished  to  plunder,  and  the  latter  to  defend  in 
behalf  of  Ottavio  Farnese.     The  Emperor  was  not  slow  in  joining  the  cause  of  the 
Pope,  and  peace  was  not  concluded  till  the  following  ye.ar. 
•iO 


814:  A  FKENCH   GENTLEMAN.  [1551. 

CCLXXX. — To  A  French  Gentleman.' 

Sickness  of  Theodore  Beza — Calvin's  grief. 

SOth  Jtme  1551. 

When  the  messenger  presented  himself  with  your  letter  to 
Beza,  I  was  seized  with  fresh  alarm,  and,  at  the  same  time, 
weighed  down  with  a  load  of  grief.  For  I  was  informed,  the 
day  before,  that  he  had  been  seized  with  the  plague.  I  was 
therefore  not  only  troubled  about  the  danger  he  was  in,  but 
from  my  very  great  affection  for  him  I  felt  almost  overpowered, 
as  if  I  was  already  lamenting  his  death ;  although,  indeed,  this 
grief  did  riot  rise  so  much  from  private  regard,  as  from  my 
public  anxiety  for  the  prosperity  of  the  Church.  Indeed,  I 
were  destitute  of  human  feeling,  did  I  not  return  the  affection 
of  one  who  loves  me  with  more  than  a  brother's  love,  and 
reveres  me  like  a  very  father.  But  the  Church's  loss  afflicted 
me  more  deeply,  when  I  pictured  a  man,  of  whom  I  had  so 
very  high  expectations,  suddenly  snatched  away  from  us  by 
death,  at  the  very  outset  of  his  career — a  man  whose  gentle 
disposition,  polished  manners,  and  native  candour,  had  en- 
deared him  to  all  good  men.  Should  you  ever  happen  to  make 
a  secret  and  hasty  journey  hither — which  I  am  very  anxious 
you  should — you  will  find  him  far  superior  in  those  respects 
to  anything  I  have  stated.  I  trust  that  melancholy  forebod- 
ing is  far  distant,  of  an  event  which  you  say  would  be  an  irre- 
parable loss  to  you.  Your  coming  would  be  the  more  desir- 
able, as  he  was  very  anxious  to  see  you  when  he  left.  What 
should  we  delight  in  but  Christ?  Yet  I  confidently  trust  that 
the  life  of  the  man  will  not  be  denied  to  our  prayers.  For  al- 
though he  has  not  yet  escaped  danger,  yet  yesterday's  messen- 
ger brought  us  more  hopeful  accounts  of  him.  To-morrow  I 
hope  to  hear  what  will  remove  all  doubt.     Adieu,  distinguished 

'  This  letter  without  an  address,  was  written  to  a  friend,  perhaps  to  one  of  the 
members  of  the  family  of  Beza  in  France,  during  an  illness  which  endangered  his 
life,  in  1561,  and  which  called  forth  from  the  Reformer  the  most  touching  testimonies 
of  his  affection. 


1551.]  THE   DUKE   OF   SOMERSET.  315 

sir,  and  take  in  good  part  this  voluntary  service  of  mine,  see- 
ing I  write  with  so  much  familiarity  to  one  with  whom  I  am 
not  acquainted.  May  the  Lord  guide  you  by  his  Spirit,  and 
shield  you  by  his  protection  ! 

[John  Calvin.] 

[Calvin's  Lai.  Corresp.    Opera,  torn.  ix.  p.  60.] 


CCLXXXI.— To  THE  BuKE  OF  Somerset.' 

Protestations  of  attachment — reforms  required  in  the  Church  of  England — squander- 
ing of  the  reTcnues  of  benefices  and  of  the  universities. 

From  Geneva,  this  2bth  July  1551. 

Monseigneur, — I  know  not  how  to  thank  you  enough  for 
the  kind  reception  which  my  messenger  has  met  with  from 
you,  not  merely  in  that  you  have  been  pleased  to  take  the 
trouble  of  offering  my  books  to  the  King,  but  for  all  other 
proofs  of  the  singular  friendly  affection  which  you  have  hither- 
to graciously  shown  me.  As  for  the  youth  whom  you  have 
taken  into  your  service,  I  should  not  have  had  the  boldness  to 
write  to  you  about  him,  had  I  not  thought,  as  was  generally 
expected,  that  he  was  likely  to  turn  out  remarkably  well.  But 
so  much  the  more  am  I  obliged  to  you,  since  I  find  that  my 
recommendation  has  been  of  use  in  this  quarter.  As  how- 
ever all  that  I  could  write  would  be  but  very  feeble  compared 
with  what  is  in  my  heart,  and  what  your  benefits  deserve,  I 
prefer  to  desist  from  further  comment  on  them.  Only  I  pray 
you,  ^[onseigneur,  to  consider  me  so  wholly  yours,  that  had  I 
any  way  of  doing  you  service,  it  would  not  be  my  fault  if  you 
lacked  proof  of  more  good-will  than  I  know  how  to  express. 
I  would  have  made  these  excuses  to  you  sooner,  or  rather 
these  thanks,  if  it  may  please  you  to  hold  them  such,  had  it 
not  been  for  the  desire  which  this  gentleman  had,  himself  to 
present  my  letter  to  you.     And  in  this  also,  I  can  perceive 

I  See  the  letter  to  the  King  of  the  month  of  January,  p.  299.     The  minister,  Nico- 
las des  Gallars,  charged  to  present  to  the  King  the  letter  and  the  Commentaries  of 
Calvin,  had  met  with  the  most  flattering  reception  at  Court.* 
*  See  Calvin's  letter  to  Farel,  p.  311,  ante. 


816  THE    DUKE    OF   SOMERSET.  [1551. 

the  friendship  you  are  pleased  to  show  towards  me,  since 
those  who  well  deserve  to  have  access  to  you,  hope  to  be  the 
more  welcome  by  means  of  my  letters. 

Nevertheless,  Monseigneur,  I  shall  not  cease  to  commend  to 
your  attention  that  which  is  of  itself  dear  and  precious  enough 
to  you.  It  is,  that  you  provide  and  take  heed  that  God  may 
be  faithfully  honoured  and  served  ;  above  all,  that  better  order 
be  established  in  the  Church  than  heretofore.  Albeit  it  may 
not  be  easy  to  obtain  people  specially  qualified  to  discharge 
this  office;  yet,  from  what  I  hear,  there  are  two  great  hind- 
rances against  which  it  would  be  essential  to  provide.  The 
first  is,  that  the  revenues  of  the  universities  which  have  been 
founded  for  the  maintenance  of  scholars,  are  ill  distributed ; 
many  being  thus  supported  who  openly  profess  to  resist  the 
Gospel,  so  far  are  they  from  affording  any  hopes  of  uphold- 
ing that  which  has  been  there  built  up  with  great  pains  and 
labour. 

The  second  evil  is,  that  the  revenue  of  the  cures  is  diverted 
and  wasted,  so  that  there  is  not  wherewithal  to  support  worthy 
men  who  might  be  fit  to  discharge  the  office  of  true  pastors. 
And  thus  ignorant  priests  are  installed,  who  bring  in  great  con- 
fusion. For  the  character  of  individuals  begets  a  great  con- 
tempt of  the  word  of  God  ;  and  thus  whatever  their  authority, 
they  cannot  exercise  it.  I  pray  you,  therefore,  Monseigneur, 
to  advance  and  improve  the  Eeformation,  and  so  give  it  per- 
manence ;  be  pleased  to  exert  all  your  might  in  correcting  this 
abuse.  I  quite  believe  that  it  has  not  been  your  fault  that 
matters  have  not  been  better  regulated  in  the  first  instance. 
But  since  it  is  very  difficult  all  at  once  to  organize  an  establish- 
ment as  well  as  might  be  desirable,  it  only  remains  that  we 
persevere,  so  as  to  perfect  in  time  what  has  been  well  begun. 

It  ought  not  to  be  ill  taken  by  those  who  at  the  present 
time  derive  profit  from  Church  property,  that  the  pastors  be 
adequately  supported ;  seeing  that  every  one  ought  to  strive 
to  support  them  out  of  his  own  private  means,  were  there  no 
public  ones.  It  would  even  be  to  their  own  advantage  to  dis- 
charge themselves  of  this  debt,  for  they  cannot  expect  to  prosper 
while  defrauding  the  people  of  God  of  their  spiritual  pasturage, 


1551.]  viRET.  317 

by  depriving  tlie  churches  of  good  pastors.  And  on  your  part, 
Monseigneur,  I  have  no  doubt,  when  you  have  faithfully 
laboured  to  reduce  these  matters  to  order,  that  God  will  the 
more  multiply  his  blessings  upon  you.  But  since  I  feel 
assured  that  you  are  so  well  inclined  of  yourself  that  I  need 
not  longer  to  exhort,  I  shall  conclude,  after  having  besought 
our  good  Lord,  that  it  may  please  him  to  guide  you  always 
by  his  Spirit,  to  increase  you  in  all  well-doing,  and  to  cause 
his  name  to  be  more  and  more  glorified  by  you.  Even  so, 
Monseigneur,  I  do  commend  me  very  humbly  to  your  gracious 
favour. 

John  Calvin. 

[Fr.  Copy. — Lihrarxj  of  Simlcr,  Coll.  of  Sunlcr     Vol.  75.] 


CCLXXXII.— To  ViRET. 

Beply  to  the  attacks  of  Pighius,  and  of  George  of  Sicily. 

[Geneva,]  15th  Angust  1551. 

I  regret  the  postponement  of  the  Council,  now  when  it  is  too 
late.  Send  for  me,  however,  when  you  think  fit ;  although  it 
will  be  much  more  convenient,  in  another  respect,  for  you  to 
come  to  us.  I  send  you  the  ravings  of  George  of  Sicily,  which 
the  Italian  brethren  wish  me  to  refute.'  I  have  declined,  how- 
ever, as  there  would  be  no  end  to  replies  if  every  single  dog  of 
that  sort  were  to  be  silenced  by  a  special  treatise.  It  is  better, 
therefore,  that  many  do  not  deem  it  worthy  of  a  reply.  If  I 
ever  find  leisure,  I  should  prefer  executing  what  I  undertook 
years  ago.  By  replying  to  Pighius,  I  shall  put  a  stop  to  the 
barking  of  others.  I  have  nothing  to  say  regarding  Matthaeus 
at  present,  except  that,  if  while  presenting  the  brethren  with 
his  work,  he  at  the  same  time  warn  them  of  its  dangers,  I  hope 
they  will  find  it  agreeable.     We  can  discuss  the  rest  better 

'  Ciilviii  published  his  treatise,  De  JEferna  Dei  Prcedestinati'one,  during  the  fol- 
lowing year,  in  reply  to  certain  attacks  directed  against  this  doctrine  by  nn  Italian 
Doctor  named  George  of  Sicily,  and  the  German  theologian,  Albert  Pighius, 
whom  ho   had   already  assailed   in    1543. — (See  vol.  i.  p.  374  of  tho  present  Col- 


318  THE   MINISTERS   OF   NEUCHATEL.  [1551. 

when  we  meet.  Adieu,  most  worthy  and  upright  brother. 
Salute  your  wife  and  little  daughters,  also  your  colleague, 
Ribet,  and  the  rest  of  the  brethren.  You  may  tell  Hotman, 
that  I  gave  a  willing  audience  of  two  or  three  hours  to  a  fellow- 
citizen  of  his,  but  I  fear  I  was  not  of  much  service  to  him. 
He  is  too  much  puS'ed  up  with  stolid  self-assurance,  for  any- 
thing to  make  an  impression  on  him. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  orig.  auiogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Yol.  107,  a.] 


CCLXXXIII. — To  THE  Ministers  of  Neuchatel. 

Arrest  of  a  minister  from  Neuchatel  in  France — steps  for  obtaining  his  release. 

Geneva,  5th  September  1551. 

When  the  melancholy  tidings  reached  this  place  that 
Hugues,'  with  five  other  brethren,  and  a  lady  of  rank,  had  been 
seized  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Magon,  we  at  once  resolved  to 
inform  you  of  it,  that  you  might  at  least  aid  them  with  your 
prayers.  For  there  is  no  use,  in  my  opinion,  in  troubling  our- 
selves with  the  French  at  present.  We  know  they  have  a 
judge  who  is  merciful  as  well  as  just.  Textor  is  here,  and  is 
unremitting  in  his  endeavours  among  [his]  friends.  If  the 
matter  proceeds  farther,  I  shall  inform  you  of  it;  only  keep 
your  mind  at  ease  for  a  few  days;   for   another    messenger 

lection.)  Little  is  known  regarding  George  of  Sicily.  Suspected  by  the  Catholics  on 
account  of  his  professing  certain  of  the  Reformed  doctrines,  and  by  the  Protestants 
from  his  holding  certain  heterodox  opinions,  he  was  disclaimed  alike  by  both  of  those 
Churches,  and  ultimately  fell  a  victim  to  the  Inquisition,  at  Ferrara. — MSS.  of  the 
Library  of  Ferrara. 

'  Notwithstanding  the  interested  advances  made  by  the  King  of  France  to  the  Swiss 
Cantons,  and  despite  his  alliance  with  the  Protestants  of  Germany,  the  persecutions 
did  not  terminate  in  France.  A  minister  of  the  district  of  Neuchatel,  originally  from 
the  neighbourhood  of  Mans,  named  Hugues  Gravier,  having  undertaken  a  journey  to 
his  native  country,  was  arrested  at  the  bridge  of  Mafon,  and,  after  a  long  imprison- 
ment, condemned  to  the  flames,  notwithstanding  the  intervention  of  the  Seigneurs  of 
Berne  in  his  behalf.  He  submitted  to  this  cruel  torture  at  Bourg-en-Bresse,  with 
wonderful  firmness ;  and  his  death,  says  the  historian  of  the  Martyrs,  was  the  means 
of  forming  a  nursery  of  the  faithful  throughout  the  entire  neighbourhood. — Hint,  dea 
Martyrs,  p.  234,  anno  1552.     Hist.  EccL,  p.  86. 


1551.]  BULLINGER.  319 

brought  word  to-day,  that  when  he  left  they  had  good  hopes  of 
a  speedy  release.  Adieu,  most  excellent  brethren,  very  dear 
to  me.  May  the  Lord  be  ever  present  with  you,  to  guide  you 
all  by  his  Spirit.  We  are  desirous  of  commending  the  Church 
of  Lyons  to  you,  which  indeed  is  uncalled  for. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

My  dear  Fare],  I  do  not  ask  pardon  for  my  slothfulness,  as 
if  I  had  rather  abstain  from  writing  you,  but  that  you  may  the 
sooner  hasten  hither  that  we  may  have  a  conversation.  Adieu, 
again  and  again. 

[Laf.  orig.  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  107,  a.] 


CCLXXXIV.— To  BULLINGER.' 

Edict  of  Chateaubriand,  in  France — attacks  on  Calvin  in  Geneva. 

Geneva,  15th  October  1551. 

My  slowness  in  writing  to  you  is  owing  to  the  want  of  mes- 
sengers. For  I  do  not  care  for  sending  a  letter  which  may 
have  lost  its  interest  by  being  so  long  in  reaching  you.  When 
Beza  undertook  to  see  my  letter  delivered  to  you  without  delay, 
I  was  unwilling  to  neglect  a  duty  in  which  I  must  confess  I 
am  too  remiss.  I  do  not  know  how  matters  are  moving  in 
England.  The  matrimonial  alliance  with  France  does  not,  in 
my  opinion,  forebode  so  much  good  as  many  seem  to  think. 
Would,  at  least,  that  it  might  mitigate  somewhat  the  fury  of 

'  The  new  opinions  made  every  day  fresh  progress  in  France,  in  spite  of  the  rigour 
of  the  edicts,  and  the  severity  of  the  judges.  Inspired  by  the  evil  spirit  of  Cardinals 
Tournon  and  Lorraine,  the  King  resorted  to  measures  of  great  crueltj'.  The  Edict  of 
Chateauhriancl,  issued  on  the  27th  of  June  1551,  declared  Protestants  amenable  at 
once  to  ecclesiastical  and  civil  tribunals,  so  that  if  absolved  by  the  jurisdiction  of  the 
one,  they  were  liable  to  condemnation  by  that  of  the  other!  This  was  a  violation  of 
the  laws  of  the  most  ordinary  justice  ;  but  at  a  time  when  the  Emperor,  aided  by  the 
heretic  Maurice  of  Saxony,  was  attacking  the  Pope,  the  King  of  France  could  not 
give  too  strong  a  pledge  of  his  orthodoxy.  The  blood  of  the  disciples  of  the  Gospel 
flowed  like  water,  to  expiate  the  alliance  of  this  persecuting  monarch  with  the  Luther- 
ans of  Germany. — Ilaag,  France  Protentante,  Introduction,  p.  x. 


320  BULLINGER.  [1551. 

his  fatber-in-law.'  For  in  order  to  gain  new  modes  of  venting 
his  rage  against  the  people  of  God,  he  has  been  issuing  atro- 
cious edicts,  by  which  the  general  prosperity  of  the  kingdom  is 
broken  up.  A  right  of  appeal  to  the  supreme  courts  has 
hitherto  been,  and  still  is,  granted  to  persons  guilty  of  poison- 
ing, of  forgery,  and  of  robbery ;  yet  this  is  denied  to  Christians: 
they  are  condemned  by  the  ordinary  judges  to  be  dragged 
straight  to  the  flames,  without  any  liberty  of  appeal.  It  has 
been  decreed,  that  the  friends  of  those  whose  lives  are  at  stake 
must  not  dare  to  intercede  for  them,  unless  they  wish  to  be 
charged  with  patronizing  heresy.  The  better  to  fan  the  flames, 
all  informers  are  to  receive  the  third  part  of  the  goods  of  the 
accused.  Should  any  judge  appear  too  remiss,  he  is  liable  to  a 
penalty.  The  King's  chancellor  is  to  guard  against  admitting 
such  to  public  offices,  or  any  who  may  have,  on  any  occasion, 
been  open  to  the  slightest  suspicion.  No  one,  besides,  can 
hereafter  occupy  the  place  of  a  judge,  unless  he  be  hostile  to 
Christ ;  and  whosoever  would  aspire  to  a  public  office,  must 
furnish  abundant  evidence  of  being  obsequious  sons  of  the 
Church  of  Eome ;  and  should  any  one  [gain  office]  by  decep- 
tion, a  penalty  attaches  to  those  who  recommended  him.  A 
penalty  is  imposed,  besides,  on  all  citizens  who  may,  by  their 
suffrages,  have  raised  to  the  magistracy,  any  individual  known 
to  hold,  or  suspected  of  holding,  the  Lutheran  doctrines.  The 
Supreme  Council  is  bound  by  law  to  compel  any  of  their  num- 
ber, who  may  seem  to  have  a  leaning  to  our  doctrines,  to  clear 
himself  by  oath.  All  are  commanded,  with  more  than  usual 
earnestness,  to  adore  the  breaden  god  on  bended  knee.  All 
parsons  of  parishes  are  commanded  to  read  the  Sorbonne 
articles  every  Sabbath  for  the  benefit  of  the  people,  that  a 
solemn  abnegation  of  Christ  may  thus  resound  throughout  the 
land.  The  goods  of  all  who  have  migrated  to  us  are  to  be  con- 
fiscated, even  although  they  should  be  sold,  or  in  any  way  dis- 
posed of,  previous  to  their  departure,  unless  the  authorities  have 

'  There  were  at  that  time  proposals  of  marriage  hetween  the  young  King  Edward, 
and  Elizabeth  of  France,  daughter  of  Henry  II.,  but  the  negotiations  relative  to  that 
match  wore  without  result. — Burnet,  History  of  the  Reformation,  vol.  ii.  p.  282,  (Nares' 
Edition.) 


1551.]  BULLINGER.  321 

been  duly  apprised  of  the  sale  before  tlieir  departure  was  con- 
templated. Geneva  is  alluded  to  more  than  ten  times  in  the 
edict,  and  always  with  a  striking  mark  of  reproach.  But  indeed 
every  place  of  dissent  from  the  See  of  Kome  is  referred  to. 
This  ferocity  is  necessary,  in  order  that  the  direst  confusion 
may  follow.  The  flames  are  already  kindled  everywhere,  and 
all  highways  are  guarded  lest  any  should  seek  an  asylum  here. 
If  any  opportunity  occurs,  we  must  spare  no  pains  to  alleviate 
the  sufferings  of  our  brethren.  I  would  already  have  been  on 
my  way  to  you,  for  the  purpose  of  holding  a  consultation,  had 
I  not  been  excluded  access  to  you,  at  present,  by  your  en- 
treaties. Nevertheless,  I  beseech  you,  in  the  name  of  Christ, 
that  you  keep  an  attentive  lookout  in  all  directions  ;  but  I  do 
not  see  what  assistance  is  to  be  expected  from  those  Avho  sit 
down  so  securely  amid  their  own  dangers.  IIow  ominous ! 
The  sword  is  whetted  for  our  throats,  and  we,  who  are  all 
brethren,  seek  to  avoid  a  consultation  !  With  these  warnings, 
it  becomes  us  to  accustom  ourselves  to  fix  our  regards  on 
heaven.  How  I  fear  we  may,  by  and  by,  suffer  a  heavier  pun- 
ishment for  this  our  inactivity  than  could  be  wished !  In 
truth,  I  am  not  astonished  that  they  are  so  slow  in  checking 
the  insult  of  the  enemy,  when  they  take  worthless  villains  to 
their  bosom,  by  whom  the  Church  is  torn  and  wounded,  and 
exposed  to  the  ridicule  of  her  enemies.  A  certain  Dominican, 
a  minister  of  the  word  in  a  neighbouring  village,  has  emerged 
from  the  mud  under  evil  auspices.'  He  bawled  out  openly  in 
the  assembly  that  he  had  a  dispute  with  me  and  the  Church  of 
Geneva ;  and  this  without  the  least  provocation.  Not  content 
with  that,  he  brought  forward  a  paper  filled  with  foul  accusa- 

'  Calvin,  referring  to  the  same  circumstance  in  a  letter  to  Viret,  (Aug.  1551.)  ex- 
pressed himself  thus  : — "  An  ignorant  monk,  from  an  obscure  village,  dispar.iged  me. 
A  ridiculous  affair.  He  was  a  demagogue,  who  from  the  front  of  the  platform,  bawled 
out  that  we  were  worse  than  the  Papists,  and  brought  forward  a  paper  before  the 
Consistory,  written  by  himself,  in  which  ho  accused  me,  by  name,  of  teaching  what 
was  false  and  contrary  to  the  word  of  God;  called  me  an  impostor;  babbled  out  that 
those  who  agreed  with  me  held  impious  opinions,"  &c. — (Calv.  Opera,  vol.  ix.  p.  61.) 
From  these  last  traits,  we  recognize  the  same  obscure  individual,  who  made  bold  to 
bring  forward  such  accusations  against  Calvin,  and  whose  disputes  with  the  Reformer 
were  soon  to  acquire  a  sad  notoriety  over  all  Switzerland.  This  man  was  Jerome  Bol- 
sec  ! — See  the  following  letter. 
41 


822  THE   MINISTERS   OF   SWITZERLAND.  [1551. 

tions,  in  which  I  was  bitterly  reviled  for  more  than  twenty 
times.  On  the  matter  being  known,  he  was  sent  home.  Em- 
boldened by  impunity,  any  satellite  of  the  Council  of  Trent 
insults  me  now  with  equal  ferocity.  This  is  the  communion 
of  the  Church  which  we  daily  profess.  I  omit  other  matters 
equally  dishonourable,  which  I  endure,  not  without  sadness; 
although  I  am  not  so  much  moved  on  my  own  account,  as  on 
that  of  the  public ;  for  I  see  clearly  that  such  a  breaking  up 
of  all  orderly  discipline,  so  foreign  to  Christianity,  cannot 
stand  for  any  length  of  time. 

Adieu,  very  excellent  and  highly  revered  brother.  May  the 
Lord  guide  you  ever;  may  his  blessing  rest  on  your  pious 
endeavours,  and  may  he  shield  you  by  his  protection  I    ' 

Salute  Theodore,  Pellican,  Gualter,  and  the  rest  of  the  bre- 
thren earnestly  in  my  name. — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  orig.  aufogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  107,  a.] 


CCLXXXV. — To  THE  Ministers  of  Switzerland.^ 

Statement  of  the  controversy  with  Bolsec  regarding  Election. 

Geneva,  [October  1551.] 

There  is  one  Jerome  here,  who,  having  thrown  oflf  the  monk's 
cowl,  is  become  one  of  those  strolling  physicians,  who,  by  habi- 

'  At  a  general  meeting,  held  October  16,  1551,  the  minister  of  Jussy,  Jean  de  Saint 
Andre,  in  preaching  from  the  words  of  St.  John,  (viii.  47,)  "He  that  is  of  God  hear- 

eth  God's  words ,"  took  occasion  to  develope  the  doctrine  of  eternal 

election,  declaring  that  "  those  who  are  not  regenerated  by  the  Spirit  of  God,  con- 
tinue in  a  state  of  rebellion  even  to  the  end,  because  obedience  is  a  gift  accorded 
only  to  the  elect."  He  had  scarcely  finished  speaking  when  one  of  the  hearers 
rose  up,  and  pronounced  this  doctrine  false  and  impious,  accompanying  his  dis- 
course with  coarse  abuse  of  those  who  make  God  the  atithor  of  sin,  and  exhorted 
the  people  to  guard  against  this  new  doctrine  as  a  detestable  piece  of  folly.  This 
man  was  the  old  Carmelite  monk,  Jerome  Bolsec,  a  physician,  preacher,  and  poet, 
who,  wandering  by  turns  in  France  and  Italy,  had  retired  to  Geneva  some  months 
previously,  where  he  had  already  frequently  attacked  the  doctrines  of  Calvin.  Un- 
noticed in  the  crowd,  the  Reformer,  whom  Bolsec  had  thought  absent,  immediately 
rose  up,  and  by  a  succession  of  testimonies  borrowed  from  the  writings  of  Augustine, 
eloquently  refuted  his  adversary.  Arrested  on  account  of  the  temerity  of  bis  lan- 
guage, and   interrogated   by  the   magistrate,  Jerome    refused   to   retract,  and  was 


1551.]  THE   MINISTERS   OF   SWITZERLAND.  323 

tual  deception  and  trickery,  acquire  a  degree  of  impudence 
which  makes  them  prompt  and  ready  in  venturing  upon  any- 
thing whatever.  lie  made  an  attempt,  eight  months  ago,  in  a 
public  assembly  of  our  church,  to  overthrow  the  doctrine  of 
God's  free  election,  which,  as  received  from  the  word  of  God,  we 
teach  in  common  with  you.  Then,  indeed,  the  impertinence  of 
the  man  was  regulated  by  some  degree  of  moderation.  He 
ceased  not  afterwards  to  make  a  noise  in  all  places,  with  the 
intention  of  shaking  the  faith  of  the  simple  in  this  all-important 
doctrine.  At  length  he  openly  disgorged  what  poison  was  in 
him.  Forwhenoneof  ourbrethren,not  longsince,  was  expound- 
ing, after  our  ordinary  custom,  that  passage  in  John  where 
Christ  declares  that  those  who  do  not  hear  God's  words  are  not 
of  God;  he  remarked  that  as  many  as  have  not  been  born  again 
of  the  Spirit  of  God,  continue  in  a  state  of  stubborn  resistance 
to  God,  even  to  the  end,  inasmuch  as  the  gift  of  obedience  is  pe- 
culiar to  the  elect  of  God,  on  whom  it  is  bestowed.  That  worth- 
less wretch  rose  up,  and  affirmed  that  the  false  and  impious 
opinion,  that  the  will  of  God  is  the  cause  of  all  things,  took 
its  rise  during  the  present  century  from  Laurentius  Yalla ;  but 
that  in  this  he  acted  wrongly,  for  he  charged  God  with  the 
blame  of  all  evils,  and  falsely  imputed  to  him  a  tyrannical 
caprice,  such  as  the  ancient  poets  fancifully  ascribed  to  their 
Jove,  lie  then  took  up  the  second  head,  and  affirmed  that 
men  are  not  saved  because  they  have  been  elected,  but  that 
they  are  elected  because  they  believe ;  that  no  one  is  condemned 
at  the  mere  pleasure  of  God  ;  that  those  only  are  condemned 
who  deprive  themselves  of  the  election  common  to  all.  In  deal- 
ing with  this  question,  he  inveighed  against  us  with  a  great 
deal  of  violent  abuse.  The  chief  magistrate  of  the  city,  on 
hearing  of  the  matter,  imprisoned  him,  especially  as  he  had 

thrown  into  prison.  The  case  was  brought  before  the  Council,  where  he  boldly 
maintained  his  opinion,  adding,  besides,  that  many  of  the  Swiss  ministers  shared 
in  his  sentiments.  Before  pronouncing  a  judgment,  which  the  ministers  of  Geneva 
earnestly  desired,  the  magistrates  wrote  concerning  the  subject  to  three  Reformed 
towns,  namely,  Zurich,  Berne,  and  BTile,  furnishing  them  with  a  list  of  the  errors  of 
Bolsec,  and  asking  their  advice  as  to  how  they  should  treat  him.  See  the  Ref/istera 
of  the  Council,  Oct.  1551 ;  Gautier,  ManK9cn'2>t  History  of  Geneva,  and  Ruchat,  torn. 
T.  p.  456, 


824:  THE   MINISTERS   OF   SWITZERLAND.  [1551. 

been  tumultuously  haranguing  the  common  people  not  co  allow 
themselves  to  be  deceived  by  us.  On  being  brought  before 
the  Senate  for  trial,  he  proceeded  to  defend  his  error  with  no 
less  obstinacy  than  audacity.  He,  moreover,  made  it  his  boast 
that  a  considerable  number  of  the  ministers  of  the  other 
churches  sided  with  him;  on  which  we  requested  the  Senate 
not  to  give  its  final  decision  until,  having  heard  from  your 
church,  it  should  ascertain  how  this  worthless  wretch  had 
wickedly  abused  your  name  by  making  you  sanction  his  error. 
Overcome  by  shame,  he  at  first  did  not  decline  the  decisions 
of  the  churches,  but  began  to  jest  about  having  good  reason  to 
mistrust  you  from  your  familiar  intimacy  with  our  brother 
Calvin.  The  Senate,  however,  according  to  our  request,  re- 
solved upon  consulting  you.  Besides,  and  in  addition  to  this, 
he  was  implicating  your  church.  For  while  denouncing 
Zwingle  above  all  others,  he  said  that  Bullinger  was  of  pre- 
cisely the  same  opinion  with  himself.  He  has  craftily  watched 
for  a  handle  of  discord  among  the  Bernese  ministers.  We  are 
really  anxious  to  have  this  plague  so  removed  from  our  church, 
that  it  may  not  infect  our  neighbours  when  we  have  got  rid 
of  it  ourselves.  Although  it  is  of  very  great  importance  to 
us  and  to  the  public  tranquillity,  that  the  doctrine  which  we 
profess  should  meet  with  your  approval ;  yet  we  have  no  reason 
to  entreat  your  confidence  in  many  words.  The  Institutes  o£ 
our  brother  Calvin,  against  which  he  is  especially  directing 
his  attacks,  is  not  unknown  among  you.  With  what  reverence 
and  sobriety  he  has  therein  discussed  the  secret  judgments  of 
God,  it  is  not  for  us  to  record:  the  book  is  its  own  bright 
witness.  Nor  in  truth  do  we  teach  anything  here  but  what  is 
contained  in  God's  holy  word,  and  what  has  been  held  by  your 
church  ever  since  the  light  of  the  Gospel  was  restored.  That 
we  are  justified  by  faith,  we  all  agree;  but  the  real  mercy  of 
God  can  only  be  perceived  when  we  learn  that  faith  is  the 
fruit  of  free  adoption,  and  that,  in  point  of  fact,  adoption  flows 
from  the  eternal  election  of  God.  But  not  only  does  this  im- 
postor fancy  that  election  depends  upon  faith,  but  that  faith 
itself  is  originated  as  much  by  man  himself  as  by  divine  in- 
spiration.    There  can  be  no  doubt,  on  the  other  hand,  that 


1551.]  THE    MINISTERS   OF   SWITZERLAND.  325 

when  men  perish,  it  must  be  imputed  to  their  own  wickedness. 
But  by  the  case  of  the  reprobate  whom  God,  from  his  own 
mysterious  counsel,  passes  by  and  neglects  as  if  unworthy,  we 
are  taught  a  striking  lesson  of  humility.  Yet  such  is  this 
Jerome,  that  he  will  not  admit  that  God  does  anything  justly 
unless  he  has  palpable  evidence  of  it.  In  fine,  this  much  ia 
fixed  and  conceded  by  us  all,  that  when  man  sins,  God  must 
not  be  regarded  as  having  any  share  in  the  blame,  nor  that  the 
word  sin  can  in  any  sense  be  applied  to  him.  Yet  this  does 
not  hinder  him  from  exercising  his  power,  in  a  wonderful  and 
incomprehensible  way,  through  Satan  and  the  wicked,  as  if 
they  were  the  instruments  of  his  wrath,  to  teach  the  faithful 
patience,  or  to  inflict  merited  punishment  on  his  enemies.  This 
profane  trifler  cries  out  that  we  bring  an  impeachment  against 
God  when  we  allege  that  he  governs  all  things  by  his  provi- 
dence; destroying,  in  short,  in  this  way,  all  distinction  between 
causes  as  remote  and  concealed,  on  the  one  hand,  and  as  near 
and  patent  on  the  other;  rendering  it  impossible  to  regard  the 
sufferings  to  which  holy  Job  was  subjected  as  the  work  of  God, 
but  that  he  may  be  held  as  equally  guilty  with  the  Devil,  the 
Chaldeans,  and  the  Sabrean  robbers.  Our  mutual  relationship, 
therefore,  demands  that  you  will  not  consider  it  troublesome  to 
uphold  and  maintain,  by  your  countenance,  that  doctrine  of 
Christ  which  has  been  outraged  by  the  profanity  of  a  wanton 
and  ill-disposed  man.  As  we  confidently  trust  that  you  will 
do  this  gladly  and  of  your  own  accord,  we  consider  it  useless 
to  ply  you  with  anxious  and  earnest  requests;  and,  on  the 
other  hand,  should  our  services  be  at  any  time  of  advantage 
to  you,  you  will  ever  find  us  prepared  to  discharge  every 
brotherly  duty. — Adieu,  most  beloved  and  esteemed  brethren. 
May  God  guide  you  by  his  Spirit,  bless  your  labours,  and  de- 
fend your  Church! 

[Calmn^s  Lat.  Coiresp.    Opera,  torn.  ix.  p.  63.] 


326  OSWALD   MYCONIUS.  [1551. 


CCLXXXYI.— To  Oswald  Myconius.^ 

Recommendations  regarding  the  dispute  with  Bolseo — request  on  behalf  of  the  Pro- 
testants of  France. 

Lausanne,  November  1551. 

I  am  compelled  to  dictate  these  few  lines,  being  confined  to 
bed  with  a  severe  headache.  The  person  who  is  to  deliver  my 
letter  to  you  is  my  brother's  father-in-law.  He  will,  therefore, 
communicate  to  me  faithfully  anything  with  which  you  may 
intrust  him.  Although  in  so  just  and  sacred  a  cause  I  trust 
there  will  be  neither  difficulty  nor  delay,  yet,  as  you  have  espe- 
cially to  do  with  the  general  answer  of  the  brethren,  I  beseech 
you  particularly,  and  Sulzer  also,  to  undertake  the  whole 
matter.^  Our  Senate,  indeed,  took  a  correct  enough  view  of 
the  case,  but  it  is  of  great  importance  to  have  the  mind  of 
your  church  as  well  as  of  our  own. 

There  is  another  thing,  also,  which  I  am  exceedingly  anxious 
to  obtain  from  you  and  the  rest  of  the  brethren ;  but  as  there 
is  no  need  for  pressing  you  on  the  matter,  it  will  be  sufficient 
for  me  to  give  you  a  hint  of  it.  Edicts  worse  than  atrocious 
have  lately  been  published  by  the  King  of  France,  in  which  all 
manner  of  cruelties  are  employed  for  the  extinction  of  whatever 
spark  of  manliness  there  is  in  the  kingdom.^  Not  only  has  he 
increased  the  rage  of  those  judges  and  officers  who  previously, 
in  most  instances,  went  farther  than  they  should,  but  if  any 
are  moi-e  moderate  than  the  rest,  they  are  compelled  by  violent 
threats  to  shed,  like  very  gladiators,  the  blood  of  the  innocent. 
The  flames  have  been  kindled  already  in  very  many  places. 

'  This  is  Calvin's  last  letter  to  Myconiiis.  Struck  by  apoplexy  while  in/the  pulpit 
of  the  Cathedral  of  Bale,  a  few  days  before  the  Easter  festivals  of  1551,  Myconius 
never  rallied,  till  he  was  carried  off  by  the  plague  in  October  1552,  in  the  sixty-fourth 
year  of  his  age.  His  bereaved  widow  survived  him  only  a  few  days.  Simon  Sulzer 
succeeded  him  in  the  office  of  AntUtes  which  he  had  filled  during  more  than  ten  years 
with  moderation  and  wisdom. — See  Melch.  Adam,  Vitce  Theol.  Germ.,  p.  224;  Ruchat, 
torn.  v.  p.  468. 

*  Alluding  to  the  reply  expected  from  the  ministers  of  Bale,  concerning  the  case  of 
Bolsec.     See  the  preceding  letter. 

3  See  letter,  p.  319. 


1551.]  CHRISTOPHER  FABRI.  327 

There  is  one  mode,  perhaps,  by  which  his  fury  may  be  some- 
what appeased:  Were  those  of  the  Swiss  who  profess  the  sound 
and  pure  doctrine  of  the  Gospel  to  intercede,  perhaps,  during 
those  commotions  of  war,  their  authority  might  carry  the  more 
weight.  As  the  cause  is  a  just  one,  and  worthy  also  of  your 
compassion,  I  shall  say  no  more,  convinced  as  I  am  that  it  will 
be  to  you  an  object  of  the  deepest  interest.  Adieu,  brother, 
worthy  of  my  heartfelt  reverence.  Salute  all  your  friends  and 
fellow-ministers.  May  the  Lord  guide  you  by  his  Spirit,  and 
protect  you  by  his  power! — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Lat.  orig. — Library  of  Geneva.     Vol.  107,  a.] 


CCLXXXVII.— To  Christopher  Fabrl' 

Calvin's  dissatisfaction  with  the  reply  of  the  ministers  of  BTile,  and  the  conduct  of 
Monsieur  de  Palais  regarding  the  affair  with  Bolsec. 

November  1551. 

I  shall  attend  to  your  orders.  Would  that  we  could  obtain 
our  wishes!  The  ministers  of  Bale  have  replied.  We  have 
found  by  experience  how  little  advice  they  can  give  us.  My- 
conius  approaches  the  matter  with  a  certain  coldness.  There  is 
no  use,  as  you  say,  in  his  taking  credit  to  himself  for  wisdom 
from  his  hesitancy.  Yet  Sulzer  writes  just  as  if  it  would  be 
satisfactory.  The  Senate  had  sent  their  own  messenger  a  short 
time  before,  I  fear  they  will  repeat  the  same  old  song.  But 
if  the  men  of  Berne  and  Zurich  go  prudently  about  the  matter, 
we  need  not  take  it  to  heart;  for  all  depends  on  this,  lest  he 
may  have  been  admitted  to  the  Bernese  district.  I  am  so  much 
ashamed  at  De  Falais,  that  I  can  scarcely  bear  to  be  taunted 

'"To  Mens.  Christopher  Fabri,  minister  of  the  Word  of  God  in  tho  Church  of 
Neufchatel." 

The  theologians  of  Bale  were  the  first  to  communicate  their  sentiments  regarding 
the  case  of  Bolsec.  In  a  letter  dated  28th  November,  they  openly  acknowledged  the 
doctrine  which  was  the  occasion  of  the  dispute.  They  regarded  election  as  "  the  effect 
of  a  secret  cause,  known  to  God  alone,  and  which  man  should  not  attempt  to  fathom." 
So  far  as  Bolsec  himself  was  concerned,  they  were  inclined  to  treat  him  with  in- 
dulgence, deceiving  thereby  the  hopes  of  the  Reformer,  who  desired  a  triumphant 
condemnation  of  his  adversary. 


328  FAEEL.  [1551. 

about  his  fickleness.'  If  your  reply  reacli  us  in  time,  it  will 
assist  us  not  a  little.  Adieu,  very  worthy  and  very  dear 
brethren.  I  could  not  find  a  messenger  up  to  the  present  mo- 
ment. My  dear  Fabri,  I  now  at  length  discharge  your  orders 
to  me.  I  have  not  had  an  opportunity  of  writing  you  since 
the  brethren  determined  upon  what  kind  of  testimony  should 
be  given  to  Heroldus.  I  have  been  as  moderate  as  I  could. 
Adieu  again.  Convey  my  best  regards  to  your  friends. — En- 
tirely yours, 

Calvin. 

[Lai.  orig,  autogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  107,  a.] 


CCLXXXVIII.— To  Farel. 

Recommendation  of  a  schoolmaster — complaints  against  the  ministers  of  Zurich. 

Geneva,  8<^  December  1551, 

There  is  little  need  for  my  commending  the  bearer  to  you, 
as  he  is,  in  my  judgment,  sufficiently  known  and  approved  by 
you.  It  is  no  ordinary  proof  of  his  piety  and  modesty  when  I 
state,  that  not  only  did  he  come  down  to  this  quarter  willingly, 
but  came  forward  even  with  eagerness,  when  I  was  almost 
prevented,  through  bashfulness,  from  asking  him  to  undertake 
the  matter.  Nor  have  I  any  doubt  but  that  he  will  discharge 
any  duty  imposed  upon  him,  faithfully  and  with  care.  But 
the  fact  of  his  being  regarded,  by  competent  judges,  as  a 
learned  and  skilful  physician,  will  perhaps  go  farther  with 
your  men.  Were  he  not  known  among  you,  I  should  give 
ampler  testimony  in  his  favour.  I  only  trust  that  your  school 
may  furnish  him  with  pupils  worthy  of  his  position  as  a 
moderately  learned  master. 

I  complained  lately  of  the  theologians  of  Bale,*  who,  as  com- 
pared with  those  of  Zurich,  are  worthy  of  very  great  praise.^ 

•  In  the  theological  disputes  between  Calvin  and  Bolsec,  M.  de  Falais  declared  him- 
self in  favour  of  the  latter,  from  whom  he  received  medical  advice.  He  had  even 
■written  a  letter  to  Bale  in  his  behalf. 

"  See  the  preceding  letter,  p.  327. 

s  The  theologians  of  ZuricE,  like  those  of  Bale,  did  not  hesitate  to  profess  adhe- 


1551.]  FAREL.  329 

I  can  hardly  express  to  you,  my  dear  Farel,  liow  much  I  am 
annoyed  by  their  rudeness.  There  is  less  humanity  among  us 
than  among  wild  beasts.  What  would  happen  if  we  were  not 
surrounded  with  enemies?  What  marvellous  dulness  is  it, 
that  when  three  or  four  churches  are  driven  together  into  a 
corner,  they  do  not  recognize  each  other!  In  truth,  this  is 
worse  than  dishonourable,  because  groundless  rumours  are  cir- 
culated, by  which  any  brother  who  may  be  within  the  bounds 
is  hindered  from  showing  us  any  sympathy.  The  Senate  did 
not  consider  the  pastors  worthy  of  being  written  to,  but  to 
heighten  the  insult,  they  limited  their  communication  to  the 
magistrates.  Should  you  be  displeased  with  the  general  letter 
of  the  men  of  Zurich,  let  me  tell  you,  that  Bullinger's  private 
letter  to  me  was  not  a  whit  better,  although  it  is  preferable 
that  you  should  read  it  and  judge  for  yourself.  It  is  not  fair 
that  I  should  be  troubled  with  his  trifles,  while  he  is,  at  the 
same  time,  looking  down  on  our  wants  with  supreme  con- 
tempt. You  will  pardon  me,  therefore,  if  you  do  not  obtain 
what  you  asked  regarding  the  translation  of  his  book.  Adieu, 
very  dear  brother.  May  the  Lord  Jesus  guide  you,  and  watch 
over  you  continually,  together  with  your  brethren  and  the 
church  !  Salute  Christopher  and  the  rest  in  my  name.  Michael 
will  remain  here  till  the  end  of  the  week. — Yours  truly, 

JouN  Calvin. 

[Lai.  Copy. — Eccl.  Archives  of  Berne,  vol.  vi.  p.  171.] 

rence  to  the  doctrine  attacked  by  Bolsec.  "Jerome,"  said  they,  "deceives  himself 
and  wrongs  Zuingle,  if  he  believes  that  the  latter  taught  that  God  himself  was  the 
cause  of  man's  sinning  j  for  if  he  appeared  to  teach  something  similar  to  that  in  his 
book  on  The  Providence  of  God,  we  must,  at  the  same  time,  consult  his  other  writings, 
where  he  has  plainly  established  that  sin  comes  by  no  means  from  God,  but  from 
human  corruption  and  voluntary  wickedness."  Addressed  to  the  Councils  of  Geneva 
by  an  oversight  which  the  ministers  of  that  church  seemed  keenly  to  feci,  the  answer 
from  Zurich  did  not  appear  to  Calvin  to  be  a  sufficiently  explicit  condemnation  of  his 
adversary.  See  the  letter  to  Bullinger  of  January  1552. 
42 


330  LELIO  SOCIN.  [1551. 


CCLXXXIX.— To  Lelio  Socin.i 

Refusal  to  reply  to  the  curious  questions  proposed  to  him  by  Socin. 

[1551.] 

You  are  deceived  in  so  far  as  you  entertaia  the  impression 
that  Melanchthon  does  not  agree  with  us  on  the  doctrine  of 
predestination.  I  only  said  briefly  that  I  had  a  letter  written 
by  his  own  hand,  in  which  he  confessed  that  his  opinion 
agreed  with  mine.  But  I  can  believe  all  you  say,  as  it  is 
nothing  new  for  him  to  elude  in  this  matter,  the  better  to 
rid  himself  of  troublesome  inquiries.  Certainly  no  one  can  be 
more  averse  to  paradox  than  I  am,  and  in  subtleties  I  find  no 
delight  at  all.  Yet  nothing  shall  ever  hinder  me  from  openly 
avowing  what  I  have  learned  from  the  word  of  God ;  for 
nothing  but  what  is  useful  is  taught  in  the  school  of  .this 
master.  It  is  my  only  guide,  and  to  acquiesce  in  its  plain 
doctrines  shall  be  my  constant  rule  of  wisdom.  Would  that 
you  also,  my  dear  Lelio,  would  learn  to  regulate  your  powers 
with  the  same  moderation  !     You  have  no  reason  to  expect  a 

'  Lelio  Socin,  founder  of  the  celebrated  sect  which  bears  his  name,  was  born  at 
Sienna  of  a  distinguished  family :  his  father,  Mariano  Socin,  a  professor  in  the  Uni- 
versity of  Bologna,  was  one  of  the  most  learned  jurisconsults  of  his  age.  Of  a  bold 
and  active  mind,  which  found  pleasure  in  the  most  subtle  speculations,  and  which 
would  not  stop  short  of  the  interpretation  of  mysteries,  Lelio  left  his  native  country 
in  1548,  and  joined  the  Reformers  of  Switzerland  and  Germany,  whose  friendship  he 
won  by  the  politeness  of  his  manners,  the  purity  of  his  life,  and  his  zeal  for  learning. 
He  resided  by  turns  at  Zurich  and  Wittemberg,  and  was  not  slow,  by  correspondence 
or  conversation,  to  express  his  doubts  on  the  common  doctrines,  which  he  skilfully 
advanced  rather  in  the  form  of  questions  than  as  opinions  which  he  was  prepared  to 
maintain  and  to  teach.  He  was  beloved  by  Bullinger,  who  did  not  suspect  the  hetero- 
doxy of  his  beliefs,  and  who  wrote  to  Calvin  regarding  him,  "I  restrain  as  far  as  I 
can  this  man's  curiosity ;"  and  Calvin  himself,  after  having  repeatedly  broken  off 
correspondence  with  Socin,  could  not  forbear  renewing  it,  and  giving  a  friendly  reply 
to  the  doubts  which  he  had  expressed  on  the  resurrection,  baptism,  the  trinity,  &c. 
(Calv.  Opera,  torn.  ix.  pp.  51,  57,  197.)  The  letter,  which  is  published  here  for  the 
first  time,  throws  valuable  light  on  the  relation  of  the  Reformer  to  the  founder  of  a 
sect  to  which  even  Socin  himself  was  yet  a  stranger,  and  whose  doubts  were  after- 
wards to  be  set  up  as  dogmas  by  his  disciples.  Lelio  Socin  died  in  1562,  before  he 
had  completed  his  thirty-seventh  year. — M'Crie,  Hist,  of  Jief.  in  Italy,  xtasdm. 


1552.]  BULLINGER.  331 

reply  from  me  so  long  as  you  bring  forward  those  monstrous 
questions.  If  you  are  gratified  by  floating  among  those  aerial 
speculations,  permit  me,  I  beseech  you,  an  humble  disciple  of 
Christ,  to  meditate  on  those  things  which  tend  towards  the 
building  up  of  my  faith.  And  indeed  I  shall  hereafter  follow- 
out  my  wishes  in  silence,  that  you  may  not  be  troubled  by  me. 
And  in  truth,  I  am  very  greatly  grieved'  that  the  fine  talents 
with  which  God  has  endowed  you,  should  be  occupied  not  only 
with  what  is  vain  and  fruitless,  but  that  they  should  also  be 
injured  by  pernicious  figments.  What  I  warned  you  of  long 
ago,  I  must  again  seriously  repeat,  that  unless  you  correct  in 
time  this  itching  after  investigation,  it  is  to  be  feared  you  will 
bring  upon  yourself  severe  suffering.  I  should  be  cruel  towards 
you  did  I  treat  with  a  show  of  indulgence  what  I  believe  to  be 
a  very  dangerous  error.  I  should  prefer,  accordingly,  offending 
you  a  little  at  present  by  my  severity,  rather  than  allow  you  to 
indulge  unchecked  in  the  fascinating  allurements  of  curiosity. 
The  time  will  come,  I  hope,  when  you  will  rejoice  in  having 
been  so  violently  admonished.  Adieu,  brother  very  highly 
esteemed  by  me ;  and  if  this  rebuke  is  harsher  than  it  ought 
to  be,  ascribe  it  to  my  love  to  you.' 

[Laf.  copy. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  107,  a.] 


CCXC— To  BULLINGER.2 

Thanks  for  the  zeal  manifested  on  behalf  of  the  faithful  in  France — Complaints  of 
the  conduct  of  the  Ministers  of  Zurich  in  the  affair  of  Bolsec. 

Geneva,  Jammry  1552. 

You  have  clearly  shown  yourself  t®  be  what  you  have  always 
been,  by  your  unremitting  endeavours  to  mitigate  the  rage  of 

'  This  letter,  without  a  date,  appears  to  us  to  belong  to  the  last  months  of  the  year 
1551.  Lelio  Socin  was  living  at  that  time  at  Wittemberg. — M'Crie,  Hist,  of  the  lief, 
in  Italy,  p.  430. 

°  The  magistrates  of  Geneva,  after  having  received  the  advice  of  the  leading 
Swiss  Churches, — which  were  unanimous  alike  in  their  recognition  of  the  doctrine 
of  election,  and  in  soliciting  indulgence  for  Bolsec, — proceeded  with  the  trial  of  the 
prisoner,  who,  having  refused  to  retract  his  opinions,  was  solemnly  banished  on  the 
23d  December  1551,  for  having  persisted  in  an  obstinate  despisal  of  the  judgment 


332  BULLINGER.  [1552 

our  Pharaoh,  and  aid  our  unfortunate  brethren.  I  cannot 
forget  how  strenuously  and  faithfully  you  have  always  devoted 
yourself  to  this  cause.  Still,  I  have  good  reason  to  fear  that 
little  has  been  gained  by  our  letters:  for  the  courtiers  to 
frustrate  them  is  nothing  wonderful.  Indeed,  I  lately  learned 
as  much,  in  a  quiet  way,  from  the  royal  ambassador  when  he 
was  here.  We  would  require  to  send  some  one,  therefore,  if 
we  wish  to  be  of  any  use.  The  matter  was  taken  up  at  Baden, 
I  understand,  but  their  deliberations  probably  came  to  naught. 
So  confident  am  I  of  your  watchful  attention  and  faithfulness, 
that  I  consider  it  unnecessary  for  me  to  stimulate  you  by  a 
single  word. 

Would  that  we  were  so  well  satisfied  about  another  matter, 
that  we  could  tender  our  thanks  to  you  and  your  colleagues 
without  any  qualification.  Inasmuch  as  we  experienced — not 
without  severe  pain — considerably  less  support  from  you  than 
we  had  anticipated,  I  prefer  bringing  my  complaint  candidly 
before  you,  rather  than  nourish  my  displeasure  by  keeping  it 
to  myself.  You  write  that  you  were  astonished  why  we, 
annoyed  by  a  vile  and  impious  wretch,  should  ask  your  opinion 
of  a  doctrine  which  he  was  falsely  attacking.  In  this  impres- 
sion you  have  been  greatly  mistaken,  for  when  he  accused  us 
of  holding  impious  dootrine,  we  deferred  to  your  judgment  out 
of  respect  to  you.  I  fail  to  see  why  this  should  annoy  you.  I 
certainly  did  not  think  you  would  consider  any  amount  of 
labour  burdensome,  which  should  bring  so  very  great  relief  to 
your  brethren.  You  say  that  it  is  a  serious  matter  to  give  an 
unqualified  approval  of  disputations,  especially  when  they  turn 
upon  a  matter  which,  in  the  reader's  judgment,  might  be 
handled  to  better  purpose  in  some  other  way.  And  yet,  I  have 
never  supposed,  nor  do  I  yet  believe,  that  you  belong  to  the 
number  of  those  who  are  so  well  pleased  with  their  own  per- 
formances, that  they  cannot  peruse  without  aversion  anything 
executed  by  another;  nor,  in  truth,  did  I  propose  dictating  a 

of  the  Churches  to  which  he  had  promised  submission. — {Registers  of  the  Council, 
Dec.  1551.  Spon  and  Picot,  Histoire  de  Geneve.)  Calvin  did  not  wish  the  sentence 
to  be  more  severe,  although  he  counted  on  the  Swiss  Churches  taking  a  more  energetic 
course,  and  in  the  ardour  of  his  zeal  for  what  he  regarded  as  sound  doctrine,  looked 
upon  all  hesitation  and  all  weakness  as  a  cowardly  abandonment  of  the  truth. 


1552.]  BULLINGER.  333 

formula  to  you,  to  which  we  desired  your  unqualified  assent. 
It  was  enough,  and  more  than  enough,  to  have  your  approval 
of  a  doctrine  which  we  held  to  be  found  in  the  word  of  God, 
nor  was  it  our  object  to  discuss  it  with  skill  and  acuteuess;  so 
far  from  that,  the  matter,  when  stripped  of  all  artifice,  shows 
that  we  wanted  nothing  more  than  that  by  refuting  the  man's 
wicked  calumnies,  you  should  bear  testimony  to  our  teaching 
only  what  was  drawn  from  the  pure  fountain  of  God. 

You  ought  not  to  have  feared,  I  think,  that  any  one  was  ac- 
cusing you  of  dishonesty,  because  I  asked  you  not  to  think  it 
troublesome,  to  give  an  answer  to  our  magistrates,  as  if  on  an 
entirely  new  subject.  For  how  could  they  make  a  public  state- 
ment regarding  a  matter,  into  which  no  one  had  made  any 
inquiry,  although  I  readily  allow  it  appeared  differently  to 
you?  Your  charging  us  with  the  want  of  moderation  and 
humanity,  was  caused,  we  think,  by  your  placing  less  confidence 
in  our  letter  than  you  ought  to  have  done.  Would  that  Jerome 
were  a  better  man  than  our  letter  declared  him  to  be !  Would 
that  he  attributed  all  to  the  grace  of  God,  as  you  seem  to  think. 
But  fop  you  to  plead  in  defence  of  a  man  who  seditiously  dis- 
turbed a  peaceful  Church,  who  strove  to  divide  us  by  deadly 
discord,  who,  without  ever  having  received  the  slightest  provo- 
cation, loaded  us  with  all  sorts  of  abuse,  who  publicly  taunted 
us  with  representing  God  as  a  tyrannical  governor,  nay  more, 
that  we  had  put  the  Jove  of  the  poets  in  the  place  of  God, — to 
defend  such  a  man,  I  say,  were  the  extreme  of  absurdity.  How, 
moreover,  can  he  attribute  all  to  the  grace  of  God,  when  he 
says  that  grace  is  offered  alike  to  all,  but  that  its  efficacy  rests 
with  the  free  will  of  every  one;  when  he  prates  about  the  heart 
of  flesh,  or  the  susceptibility  of  grace,  being  given  to  all,  but  so 
that  every  one  may  receive  it  of  his  own  accord?  Altogether, 
I  feel  grieved  beyond  measure  that  there  is  not  a  better  under- 
standing between  us.  Indeed  I  was  astounded,  on  finding 
from  your  letter,  that  the  kind  of  teaching  which  I  employ  is 
displeasing  to  many  good  men,  just  as  Jerome  is  offended  by 
that  of  Zuingle.  Wherein,  I  beseech  you,  lies  the  similarity? 
For  Zuingle's  book,  to  speak  confidentially,  is  crammed  with 
such  knotty  paradoxes,  as  to  be  very  different,  indeed,  in  point 
of  moderation,  from  what  I  hold.     You  are  wrong  in  inferring 


334  BULLINGER.  [1552. 

that  I  have  promised  a  new  work,  in  which  I  undertake  to  de- 
monstrate that  God  is  not  the  author  of  sin.  When  that  im- 
postor was  vexing  me  with  his  calumnies,  I  stated  in  refutation 
what  was  true,  viz.,  that  I  had  given  sufficient  evidence  ia  a 
book  which  I  had  published,  of  my  utter  abhorrence  of  such 
blasphemy.  I  refer  to  the  book  published  long  since  against 
Libertines.  The  dishonesty  of  that  worthless  wretch,  however, 
induced  me  to  publish  in  addition  what  remained  of  my  reply 
to  Pighius  on  Predestination.  Should  I  fall  into  any  mistakes, 
you  will  be  kind  enough  to  set  me  right.  For  the  rest,  I  am 
sufficiently  alive  to  the  desirableness  of  my  saying  what  I  have 
to  say  with  frankness  and  candour.  Jerome  has  been  publicly 
sentenced  to  perpetual  exile.  Certain  slanderers  have  been 
falsely  circulating  that  we  desired  a  more  cruel  punishment, 
and  some  have  been  foolish  enough  to  believe  it.  Our  friend, 
De  Falais,  whose  maid-servant  Jerome  had  cured  of  cancer,  on 
that  account  espoused  his  cause  so  very  warmly,  that  he  seemed 
almost  infatuated.  We  easily,  and  from  the  first,  shook  our- 
selves free  of  this  annoyance.  But  at  the  request  of  the  neigh- 
bouring brethren,  we  were  anxious  to  remove  that  plague  from 
the  Bernese  district.  Now  that  your  answer  has  been  ambigu- 
ous, the  sorry  wretch  is  making  his  boast  that  you  countenance 
his  error.  I  only  wish  I  could  at  present  venture  to  indicate 
the  catastrophe  of  the  tragedy,  regarding  which  you  desired  to 
be  informed.  You  will  hear,  before  long,  or  I  am  much  mis- 
taken, in  certain  attempts  just  made,  that  he  has  paved  the 
way  for  making  still  greater  disturbances.  Now,  if  I  have  laid 
bare  my  inmost  feelings  in  making  these  complaints  to  you,  let 
that  have  no  weight  so  far  as  our  reply  is  concerned.  Although 
you  disappointed  my  expectations,  I  nevertheless  gladly  offer 
you  our  friendship.  I  pass  by  the  others  just  as  if  I  was  en- 
tirely satisfied.  In  conclusion,  as  my  brother's  sister  is  anxious 
about  her  son  who  is  boarded  in  your  place,  I  am  compelled  to 
trouble  you  about  him.  I  wish  you  would  inquire  at  his  teacher, 
in  her  name,  as  to  what  progress  he  is  making,  and  if  you  find 
that  he  is  not  realizing  the  hopes  and  desires  of  his  father,  that 
you  will  inform  me  of  it  at  your  earliest  opportunity. 

John  Calvin. 

\Lat.  orig.  aiitogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Yol.  107,  a.] 


1552.]  FAREL.  335 


CCXCL— To  Farel. 

Fresh  complaints  by  Calvin  against  the  ministers  of  Zurich  and  Berne — his  unpopu- 
larity in  the  latter  city — advices  to  Farel. 

Geneva,  27ih  January  1552. 

I  received  your  letter  lately,  in  which  you  asked  me  silently 
to  repress  the  feeling  of  wrong  done  me  by  your  neighbours.' 
As  for  the  people  of  Zurich,  the  die  has  been  cast  three  days 
ago.  The  remedy  was  in  my  hands,  indeed,  until  then.  But  I 
have  no  inclination  to  recall  those  letters  which  I  have  lately 
despatched.  It  was  absolutely  necessary  for  me  afterwards  to 
write  to  the  theologians  of  Bale,  with  whose  answer,  apparently 
so  cold  and  empty,  I  had  good  grounds  from  the  first  to  be 
displeased.  But  those  things  advanced  by  the  others  were  so 
very  worthless,  that  they  did  not  cause  me  much  annoyance. 
Yovi  are  much  mistaken  in  thinking  that  the  former  party  are 
about  to  see  their  error.  Wait  rather  till  they  make  an  ab- 
solute renunciation  of  the  election  of  God.  We  have  experi- 
enced the  wonderful  providence  of  God  in  this  matter;  for 
without  being  at  the  time  aware  of  it,  I,  by  the  formula  of  our 
agreement,  have  so  bound  them,  that  they  are  no  longer  at 

•  In  their  reply  to  the  ministers  of  Geneva  concerning  Bolsec,  the  ministers  of  Berno 
freely  pleaded  the  cause  of  toleration  : — "We  do  not  believe,"  said  they,  "  that  it  is 
necessary  to  treat  those  who  err  with  too  much  severity,  lest  while  wishing  to  defend, 
with  too  great  zeal,  the  purity  of  dogmas,  wo  swerve  from  the  law  of  Jesus  Christ,  that 

is,  from  charity Jesus  Christ  loved  the  truth,  but  he  loved  souls  also;  not  only 

those  who  advanced  without  declension,  but  also  those  who  went  astray.  And  it  is 
the  latter  of  which  the  Good  Shepherd,  in  the  Gospel  parable,  takes  the  greatest  care." 
....  IMore  explicit  than  the  theologians  of  Zurich  and  of  Btile  on  the  doctrine  which 
formed  the  ground  of  the  debate,  the  ministers  of  Berne  gave  a  deliverance  against 
the  doctrine  of  predestination  : — "  To  come,"  said  they,  "  to  the  subject  of  dispute  with 
Bolsec,  you  are  not  ignorant  how  much  vexation  it  has  caused  very  many  good  men, 
of  whom  we  cannot  have  a  bad  opinion,  who  reading  in  the  Scriptures  those  passages 
which  exalt  the  grace  of  God  to  all  men,  have  not  sufficient  discernment  rightly  to 
understand  the  true  mysteries  of  Divine  election,  attach  themselves  to  the  proclama- 
tion of  grace  and  of  universal  benevolence,  and  thinlt  that  wo  cannot  make  God  con- 
demn, harden,  aud  blind  any  man,  without  being  guilty  of  the  insupportable  blasphemy 
of  making  God  himself  the  author  both  of  man's  blindness  and  of  his  perdition,  and 
by  consequence  of  all  sin." — See  this  letter,  and  those  of  the  Churches  of  Zurich  and 
Bale,  in  the  Collection  of  Professor  Alph.  Turretin,  entitled,  Nuhes  Tentium,  and  in 
Ruchat,  torn.  v.  p.  461,  et  seq. 


836  FAREL.  [1552. 

liberty  to  do  damage  to  the  cause.  For,  in  other  circumstances, 
as  I  am  informed  by  one,  they  would  have  become  the  patrons 
of  Jerome.  Even  Bibliander,  carried  away  by  a  sudden  fit  of 
excitement,  was  within  a  very  little  of  coming  to  oppose  us. 
He  is  at  present  engaged  in  writing  something  or  other.  How- 
ever, you  will  find  nothing  in  my  letter,  if  I  am  not  mistaken, 
except  what  is  exceedingly  temperate.  I  had,  in  truth,  enough 
to  do  in  repressing  the  grief  with  which  I  was  at  that  time 
consumed.  You  will  hear  from  Christopher  what  Yiret  advises 
to  be  done  with  the  third.  As  he  has  an  absolute  horror  of 
going  to  Berne,  I  have  no  special  counsel  to  offer.  However, 
the  atrocity  of  the  evils  by  which  we  are  beset,  compels  us  to 
attempt  something.  And  now  new  matter  for  a  tragedy  has 
arisen  out  of  mere  nothing.  For  the  chief  magistrate  of  Ter- 
nier,  on  false  and  reckless  information,  eagerly  summoned,  as 
he  is  accustomed  to  do,  John  de  Saint  Andr^  before  a  public 
tribunal,  charging  him  with  having  said  before  a  public 
assembly,  that  whoever  received  the  Supper  on  Christmas-day, 
received  the  devil  and  not  Christ.'  And  witnesses  were  found 
to  give  evidence  against  him.  In  short,  Satan  will  not  lay 
aside  such  fanners  as  these  until  he  has  kindled  some  dreadful 
conflagration.  But  T  suppose  we  may  rather  weep  over  evils  of 
this  sort,  than  hope  to  prevent  them.  At  least  I  do  not  see 
what  can  be  done.  If  I  go  to  Berne,  I  fear  I  shall  not  receive 
a  brotherly  welcome  from  the  brethren.  Wicked  men,  who  are 
at  present  exhibiting  so  much  effrontery,  while  matters  are  in  a 
doubtful  state,  will  then  be  certain  to  be  more  insolent  in  their 
boasting.  And  although  the  pastors  hold  out  some  show  of 
friendship,  yet  I  scarcely  expect  to  succeed  in  inducing  them  to 
maintain  friendly  intercourse  with  us,  except  by  the  permission 
of  the  Senate.  You  know  how  defective  they  are  in  courage 
and  firmness.  If  they  so  far  comply  with  our  wishes  in  this 
matter,  they  will  nevertheless  think  that  they  have  doubly  dis- 
charged their  duty,  when  they  have  indicated  in  a  single  word 
that  they  have  nothing  to  complain  of  There  is  much  talk  in 
the  city  in  the  meantime.     While  revolving  these  dangers  in 

'  This  minister  was  banished  shortly  after  beyond  the  territory  of  the  Seigneurs  of 
Berne  on  account  of  this  expression. 


1552.]  FAREL.  337 

my  own  mind,  I  can  scarcely  venture  to  seek  a  remedy  for 
evils  which  vex  me  all  the  more  from  my  very  desire  for  their 
removal.  If  you  hope  to  find  Blaurer  of  any  use  to  you,  you 
should  employ  him.  But  I  abstain  from  writing,  lest  some 
might  think  themselves  wronged  by  my  complaining  to  him. 
Try  him,  therefore,  and  give  him  advice  about  what  he  should 
do. 

In  the  next  place,  I  have  something  about  which  I  wish  to 
admonish  yourself.  For  I  understand  the  prolixity  of  your 
discourses  has  furnished  ground  of  complaint  to  many.'  You 
have  frequently  confessed  to  us  that  you  were  aware  of  this 
defect,  and  that  you  were  endeavouring  to  correct  it.  But  if 
private  grumblings  are  disregarded  because  they  do  not  in  the 
meanwhile  give  trouble,  they  may,  nevertheless,  one  day  break 
forth  into  seditious  clamours.  I  beg  and  beseech  of  you  to 
strive  to  restrain  yourself,  that  you  may  not  afford  Satan  an 
opportunity,  which  we  see  he  is  so  earnestly  desiring.  You 
know  that  while  we  are  not  called  upon  to  show  too  much  in- 
dulgence to  the  foolish,  we  are  nevertheless  bound  to  give  them 
something  to  allure  them.  And  you  are  well  enough  aware 
that  you  have  to  do  with  the  morose  and  the  choleric;  and  in 
truth  their  aversion  arises  simply  from  too  much  pride  on  their 
part.  Yet,  since  the  Lord  commands  us  to  ascend  the  pulpit, 
not  for  our  own  edification,  but  for  that  of  the  people,  you 
should  so  regulate  the  matter  of  your  teaching,  that  the  word 
may  not  be  brought  into  contempt  by  your  tediousness.  It 
is  more  appropriate,  also,  for  us  to  lengthen  our  prayers  in 
private,  than  when  we  offer  them  in  the  name  of  the  whole 
Church.  You  are  mistaken  if  you  expect  from  all  an  ardour 
equal  to  your  own. 

I  have  dictated  this  letter  in  bed.^     Adieu,  most  excellent 

'  Farcl  was  a  genuine  orator.  All  liis  contemporaries  speak  with  admiration  of 
his  eloquent  discourses,  of  his  beautiful  exhortations,  and  of  his  prayers,  so  fervent, 
that  no  one  could  hear  them  without  being  charmed.  But  it  appears  that  his  dis- 
courses were  all  extempore;  none  of  them  have  been  preserved,  but  they  had  a  few 
of  the  defects  of  improvisation.  Their  fault  was  prolixity.  Calvin,  in  his  preface 
to  the  Tsalms,  paid,  among  other  things,  a  brilliant  tribute  to  the  eloquence  of  his 
friend,  and  to  those  thunders  of  the  word  {tonitnia)  by  which  he  had  been  enchained 
at  Geneva.  '  In  Calvin's  own  hand. 

43 


338  MADAME   DE   CANY.  [1552. 

and  upright  brother.  Salute  all  friends.   May  the  Lord  preserve 
and  guide  you  by  his  Spirit,  and  bless  your  labours ! — Yours, 

John  Calvin. 

[Laf.  orig.  aiitogr. — Library  of  Geneva.    Vol.  107,  a.] 


CCXCII.— To  Madame  de  Cany.' 

Rigorous  and  inflexible  spirit  of  Calvin  against  heresy — Praise  of  Theodore  Beza. 

GenetA)  Jamiary  1552. 

Madame, — I  am  very  sorry  that  the  praiseworthy  act  which 
you  did  about  half  a  year  ago,  has  met  with  no  better  return. 
This  is  because  no  good  and  true  servant  of  God  found  himself 
within  reach  of  such  help,  as  that  received  by  as  wicked  and  un- 
happy a  creature  as  the  world  contains.  Knowing  partly  the 
man  he  was,  I  could  have  wished  that  he  were  rotting  in  some 
ditch  ;  and  his  arrival  gave  me  as  much  pleasure  as  the  piercing 
my  heart  with  a  poniard  would  have  done.  But  never  could  I 
have  deemed  him  to  be  such  a  monster  of  all  impiety  and  con- 
tempt of  God,  as  he  has  proved  himself  in  this.  And  I  assure 
you,  Madame,  that  had  he  not  so  soon  escaped,  I  should,  by  way 
of  discharging  my  duty,  have  done  my  best  to  bring  him  to  the 
stake.^  Nevertheless,  if  the  good  we  purpose  does  not  come  to 
pass,  it  is  quite  enough  that  God  accepts  our  service.  He  com- 
mands us  to  help  all  those  who  need,  and  above  all,  those  who 

'  Without  date.  The  end  is  wanting.  We  believe  that  this  letter  refers  to  the  first 
month  of  the  year  1552. 

'  Who  is  the  personage  to  whom  these  words  refer,  stamped  at  once  by  the  inflex- 
ible spirit  of  the  time  and  the  stern  rigour  of  the  Reformer?  The  historian  can  only 
offer  conjectures  :  can  it  be  Jerome  Bolsec  ?  But  a  regular  sentence  had  banished 
him  from  Geneva,  and  Calvin  himself  does  not  appear  to  have  called  for  a  more  se- 
vere judgment  against  this  innovator  whom  resentment  had  transformed  into  a  vile 
pamphleteer.  "  That  fellow,  Jerome,  is  driven  out  into  perpetual  exile  by  a  public 
sentence.  Certain  revilers  have  spread  abroad  the  falsehood,  that  we  earnestly  desired 
a  much  severer  punishment,  and  foolishly ,  it  is  believed." — (Calvin  to  Bullinger,  in  the 
month  of  January  1552.)  In  that  age  of  inexorable  severity  against  unsound  doc- 
trine, Servetus  only  appeared  at  Geneva  to  expire  at  the  stake,  and  Geutili  only  es- 
caped the  scaffold  for  a  time,  by  the  voluntary  retraction  of  his  opinions.  To  name 
Gentili,  Servetus,  Bolsec,  is  to  recall  the  principal  victims  of  Calvinistic  intolerance 
in  the  sixteenth  century,  but  not  to  solve  the  mystery  which  attaches  to  the  person- 
age designated  in  the  letter  of  Calvin  to  Madame  de  Cany. 


1552.]  MADAME   DE   CANY.  339 

suffer  for  his  name.  If  men  are  often  found  unworthy  of  our 
help,  let  us  be  content  that  the  Master  acknowledges  it  all  as 
done  to  himself;  and  that  even  if  men  prove  ungrateful,  he 
will  confer  so  ample  a  reward,  of  which  we  cannot  be  deprived. 
And  in  this  we  enjoy  a  great  advantage  over  those  who,  ia 
serving  their  own  fancies,  persuade  themselves  that  they  do  God 
service.  For  when  we  follow  that  which  he  approves,  we  are  in 
no  danger  of  losing  our  labour.  Wherefore,  let  us  not  weary 
in  well-doing,  as  likewise  St.  Paul  exhorts  us,  signifying  that  we 
should  not  fail  to  find  much  in  men  that  would  immediately 
discourage  us,  did  we  not  look  beyond  them.  And,  indeed, 
there  is  no  doubt  that  our  Lord  wishes  to  try  our  constancy 
when  he  allows  such  temptations  to  befall  us.  Accordingly, 
he  who  would  shield  himself  behind  the  ingratitude  of  man- 
kind, will  not  be  excused.  As  regards  ourselves,  there  is  much 
need  that  we  should  be  confirmed  against  such  scandals,  for  we 
meet  them  every  day.  And  I  have  no  doubt,  that  our  Lord 
has  so  confirmed  you,  that  you  will  not  cease  exerting  yourself 
for  his  people  when  the  opportunity  occurs,  and  you  have  the 
means  of  doing  what  your  duty  requires.  For  seeing  that  God 
accepts  and  puts  down  to  his  account  whatever  is  done  to  his 
people,  it  is  to  him  that  we  fall  short,  and  not  to  men,  when 
we  do  not  fulfil  this  duty.  Now,  our  Lord  presents  you  by 
us  with  an  occasion  of  showing  your  perseverance,  albeit  that 
it  is  enough  for  me  to  have  exhorted  you  in  general. 

With  regard  to  the  present  matter,  I  prefer  to  entreat  you,  as 
I  now  entreat  with  all  possible  affection.  It  is  on  the  behalf  of 
Monsieur  de  Beze,'  against  whom  a  certain  Monsieur  de  Sun  istan 
has  a  lawsuit  for  the  priory  of  Londjumeau.  Upon  his  retire- 
ment, his  condemnation  was  inevitable,  for  you  are  aware  how 
things  go  in  our  favour.  Be  that  as  it  may.  Monsieur  de  Sun- 
istan  would  have  been  well  content  with  much  less,  and  has 

'  Theodore  Beza,  then  professor  of  Greek  literature  in  the  Academy  of  Lausanne. 
Born  the  2'tth  June  1519,  at  Vdselay  in  Burgundy,  he  had  left  Paris  after  a  brillinnt 
and  dissipated  youth,  and  retired  to  Geneva  the  24th  October  1518,  giving  up  the 
possession  of  the  rich  benefices  which  he  hold  of  his  uncle,  the  Abb6  of  FroiJiuont. 
Of  this  number  was  the  priory  of  Londjumeau,  which  became  the  matter  of  a  tedious 
lawsuit  between  Beza  and  the  new  titular,  M.  de  Sunistan,  the  protege  of  the  Duehcsse 
d'Etampes. 


840  MADAME   DE   CANY.  [1552. 

obtained  more  than  he  could  have  ventured  to  wish,  seeing  that 
the  Sieur  de  Beze  has  been  found  liable  for  the  whole  of  the 
costs,  with  restitution  of  the  rents.  Whereupon  he  (Sunistan) 
proceeds  against  the  commissioners,  who  have  received  them  in 
the  name  of  the  aforesaid  De  Beze.  To  remedy  this  evil,  we 
have  bethought  ourselves,  Madame,  of  having  recourse  to  you 
as  to  a  refuge  which  God  vouchsafes  to  us.  We  hope,  indeed, 
that  Madame^  will  do  much  for  us.  And  since  it  has  been 
through  her  that  the  said  Sunistan  has  got  the  benefice, 
this  is  a  reason  why  she  should  have  authority  to  make  him 
relinquish  his  claim  upon  the  costs.  I  assure  you,  in  all 
sincerity,  that  when  he  shall  have  done  his  utmost,  he  will  not 
be  able  to  get  what  he  seeks.  And  therefore,  Madame,  I  again 
beseech  you,  that  it  may  please  you  to  write  so  urgently  to 
the  said  lady,  that  she  may  exert  herself  warmly  to  make 
the  aforesaid  Sunistan  satisfied  with  the  presentation.  I  do 
not  make  this  request  so  much  on  my  own  account,  as  in  the 
name  of  our  Master,  who  has  all  credit  and  power  with  you  as 
he  deserves.  I  say  this,  not  only  to  excuse  the  liberty  I  take, 
but  also  to  obtain  more  easily  from  you  what  I  ask.  Never- 
theless, I  protest  in  truth,  if  I  did  not  all  I  could  to  deliver 
from  annoyance  the  man  for  whom  I  speak,  I  should  do  wrong 
to  Jesus  Christ  and  his  Church.  Our  Lord  has  so  wrought 
upon  him,  that  he  has  withdrawn,  notwithstanding  the  ease 
which  he  enjoyed,  from  the  expectation  of  further  advancement. 
But  I  let  that  alone  in  order  to  speak  as  to  what  I  have  known. 
I  shall  not  even  touch  upon  many  virtues,  which  would  have 
won  your  affections,  had  you  seen  them  as  I  have  done.  I  will 
only  tell  you,  that  he  has  received  excellent  graces  from  God, 
and  has  so  improved  them  for  the  general  benefit  of  the  Church, 
that  he  is  truly  a  pearl.  This  is  why  I  have  said  that  I  less 
regard  in  this  case  the  private  individual,  than  my  duty  to  my 
Master  and  his  whole  household,  who  have  so  much  interest 
in  such  a  spirit  not  being  quenched  by  vexations  and  annoy- 
ances. And  I  am  not  the  only  person  who  think  of  him  thus, 
but  all  those  to  whom  the  honour  of  God  is  dear,  love  and 
value  this    man  as   a  treasure.     I   believe   that    my  brother 

'  Anne  de  Pisseleu,  Duchesse  d'Etampes.     She  was  a  sister  of  Madame  de  Cany. 


1552.]  BULLINQER.  341 

De  Normandie  does  not  write  of  him  to  you  with  less  affection 
than  I.  AVe  agree  in  this  respect  as  in  everything  else,  so  that 
I  believe  that  we  both  equally  love  him.  You  may  have  some 
taste  of  his  mind  by  certain  passages  which  he  has  translated, 
although  he  has  other  gifts  which  are  surpassing  and  far  more 
valuable.  But  I  hope,  Madame,  that  the  reading  of  the  Psalms, 
which  you  will  receive  by  the  bearer,'  will  of  itself  be  my 
excuse  towards  you  for  so  pressingly  requesting  you  to  be 
pleased  to  be  the  means  of  giving  him  relief,  so  that  he  may 
follow  out  this  work,  and  also  better  things  besides:  and  in 
doing  so,  you  will  oblige  many  worthy  persons  whom  I  know 

you  would  willingly  please 

[Fr.  Copy. — Library  of  Geneva.     Vol.  107,  a.] 


CCXCIII.— To  BULLINGER.'^ 

Journey  of  Calvin  and  Farel  in  Switzerland — steps  in  favour  of  the  Reformed  in 
France — return  to  the  alfaLrs  of  Bolsec. 

From  an  Inn  at  Basle,  13^7t  March  1552. 

When  Farel  and  I  left  home,  we  had  resolved  to  visit  you. 
At  Berne  we  altered  our  plan,  for  the  following  reason: — We 

'  Laurent  de  Normandie.     See  note  1,  p.  311. 

This  passage  seems  to  refer  to  an  edition  of  the  Psalms  translated  into  French  verso 
by  Theodore  Beza,  earlier  than  that  which  is  mentioned  by  Senebier. — {Histoire 
Litteraire  de  Geneve,  torn.  i.  p.  289. — Se])tante-Neu/ Pscaulmes  mis  en  liithme  Francaiae, 
Quarante-Neuf  x>ar  Clement  Marot,  avec  le  Cantique  de  Simion  et  lea  Due  Comimnule- 
ttients,  in  24.  Geneve,  choz  Simon  do  Bosc,  1556.)  M.  Picot,  Hist,  de  Geneve,  tom.  ii. 
p.  7,  mentions  an  edition  of  the  Psalms,  published  in  1551.  AVe  know  that  the  first 
complete  edition,  for  the  use  of  the  Reformed  Churches,  appeared  at  Lyons  in  1562, 
with  the  "  Privilege  du  Roi." 

'Despite  Calvin's  disagreements  with  the  magistrates  of  Berne  and  the  Hel- 
vetic Churches,  he  did  not  hesitate  to  undertake  a  journey  to  them  in  the  month  of 
March  1552,  which  the  seriousness  of  the  circumstances  demanded,  in  order  to 
plead  the  cause,  among  the  Cantons,  of  the  French  Protestants,  who  were  then  in 
a  most  deplorable  condition.  "This  year,"  says  Ruchat,  "the  King  of  Franco 
carried  his  persecution  of  the  Reformers,  even  to  the  death,  so  to  speak  :  and  those 
faithful  subjects,  who  wished  only  to  be  allowed  to  serve  God  in  liberty  of  con- 
science, were  subjected  to  the  violence  of  his  ofiBcers,  who  acted  like  so  many  un- 
chained furies.  The  flames  were  kindled,  the  wheel  and  the  gallows  were  erected 
at  all  the  tribunals.     The  Protestant  States  of  the  empire,  and  the  four  Reformed 


342  BULLINGER.  [1552. 

stated  in  the  senate  that  there  appeared  some  hope  of  relief 
for  our  unhappy  brethren  ;  because  the  king  lately  published 
an  edict,  in  which  he  makes  unusual  concessions  to  the  Ger- 
mans ;  for  in  the  first  place  he  puts  them  on  an  equality  with 
the  natives ;  and  further,  by  an  extraordinary  indulgence,  he 
grants  them  the  liberty  of  living  according  to  their  own  religion. 
Besides,  the  attempts  of  the  Sorbonne  to  excite  cruelty,  have 
less  success  and  favour  than  hitherto.  The  death  of  Chate- 
lain^  also,  who  was  cut  off  by  an  attack  of  colic,  happened 
seasonably  for  us.  The  king  seems  so  bent  upon  war,  that  he 
does  not  hesitate  to  prefer  his  present  convenience  to  the  sense- 
less rage  with  which  he  formerly  burned.  There  are  many 
things,  we  think,  which  at  present  you  may  safely  concede  to 
them.  It  is  certain,  that  in  a  war  so  changeable  and  so  com- 
plicated as  this,  though  there  may  be  no  formal  compact,  they 
have  many  common  interests  involved.  Now  the  miserable 
condition  of  our  holy  brethren  admonishes  us  of  the  necessity 
of  watching  over  them,  and  urgently  demands  that  we  assist 
them  to  the  best  of  our  power.  For  the  king,  as  if  he  had 
exhausted  his  kindness  upon  the  Germans,  ceases  not  severely 
to  oppress  his  own.     Moreover,  as  many  opportunities  might 


Cantons,  were  active  in  their  intercessions  with  the  King,  hy  means  of  special  am- 
bassadors, in  behalf  of  these  poor  persecuted  ones ;  but  all  their  prayers  were  useless." 
(Hist,  de  la  Bif.,  torn.  v.  p.  479.)  The  King,  on  advising  the  Cantons  to  abstain 
from  any  further  approaches  to  him,  declared  that  he  wished  to  be  allowed  to  remain 
his  own  master,  and  to  act  as  he  pleased,  and  for  them  to  refrain  in  future,  lest  those 

cities  continued  this  business  at  their  own  peril ; that  they  were  at 

liberty  to  govern  their  own  cities  as  they  thought  proper;  that,  for  his  own  part,  he 
wished,  without  let  or  hindrance,  to  do  the  same  in  his  own  kingdom,  because  ho  in- 
tended by  all  means  to  purge  it  of  those  seditious  men. — (Bullinger  to  Calvin,  tom. 
ix.  p.  68.)  This  last  epithet  was  a  calumni/.  Yet  he  continued,  nevertheless,  to  per- 
secute the  faithful  of  France  as  seditious  and  as  rebels,  because  they  desired  to  serve 
and  to  worship  God  according  to  his  word. 

>  See  note  1,  Vol.  i.  p.  439. 

"This  good  bishop,". says  Beza,  "agreeing  to  persecute  those  whom  he  formerly 
defended  as  far  as  he  could,  was  made  Bishop  of  Orleans,  whither  God  attended  him 
on  his  journey.  For  on  the  eve  of  his  enUie,  he  went,  as  the  custom  was,  to  the 
Monastery  called  Saint  Iverte,  and  entered  a  pulpit  to  preach  ;  there  was  a  very  great 
number  of  people  present,  and  whilst  uttering  harsh  threats  against  those  termed 
heretics,  he  was  seized  with  a  colic  so  sudden  and  severe,  that  being  carried  away  he 
died  a  miserable  death  on  the  following  night,  and  made  his  entrde  elsewhere  than  at 
Orleans." — Hist.  EccL,  tom.  i.  p.  81. 


1552.]  BULLINGER.  343 

escape  us,  from  our  ignorance  of  passing  events,  it  had  already 
seemed  to  us  advisable  to  turn  and  warn  the  Bernese  to  seize  a 
favourable  opportunity.  But  now,  being  taught  by  much  experi- 
ence that  letters  are  of  little  avail,  we  have  besought  the  Bernese 
senate  to  despatch  an  embassy,  to  assure  the  king  that  the  cause 
was  sincerely  advocated;  and  that  not  only  from  the  entreaties 
of  others,  but  of  your  own  inclination,  and  from  the  deepest 
feeling  of  your  heart,  you  are  inclined  and  earnestly  desirous  to 
plead  it.  The  senate  replied,  that  the  occasion  seemed  not  yet 
ripe,  for  that  lately  letters  had  been  brought  from  the  king, 
wherein  he  not  only  haughtily  refused  what  the  four  states  had 
sought,  but  fiercely  chid  them  for  not  considering  him  a 
clement  Christian  king.  It  was  stated,  also,  that  letters  would 
presently  arrive,  from  which  it  would  appear  whether  the 
King's  mind  were  changed.  The  consul  promised,  however, 
that  should  a  convenient  opportunity  occur,  the  Senate  would 
by  no  means  neglect  this  cause.  Among  other  things,  also, 
the  Senate  dissuaded  us  from  going  to  Zurich,  lest  unnecessary 
expense  should  be  incurred.  We  were  vexed  at  this,  because 
we  would  freely  confer  with  you  upon  other  matters,  nor  would 
you  have  been  displeased  at  our  arrival ;  however,  that  we 
might  not  seem  too  rash,  we  chose  rather  to  be  deprived  of  the 
pleasureof  seeing  you,  and  the  benefit  of  your  conversation,  than 
to  attempt  anything  which  might  injure  the  cause.  Now  both 
of  us  beseech  you ;  nay  rather  all  the  godly  who  are  sufl^ering 
in  France  for  the  testimony  of  Christ,  humbly  beseech  you  by 
our  mouth  to  be  diligently  watchful  for  all  opportunities. 
Although  it  is  enough  to  advise  you,  yet  the  anxiety  under 
which  we  know  them  to  groan,  compels  us  to  add  some 
vehemence  to  our  entreaties.  But  as  we  shall  certainly  not 
obtain  what  we  wish,  we  must  exercise  moderation,  so  as  not  to 
give  offence  to  the  King.  The  edict  has  forty-seven  heads. 
If  in  regard  to  four  or  five  of  the  heads  some  reasonable  relief 
were  obtained,  the  brethren  will  think  themselves  not  hardly 
dealt  with.  One  for  instance  requires,  that  on  holidays  each 
with  his  family  be  present  at  the  mass,  and  not  only  that  he 
approve  that  idolatry  by  his  gesture,  and  defile  himself  by  im- 
pious and  faithless  hypocrisy,  but  that  the  articles  of  the  Sor- 


34-i  BULLINGEE.  [1552. 

bonne  be  read  aloud  at  the  sacrifice  ;  and  tlius  all  will  subscribe 
to  abominable  blasphemies.  But  it  is  demanded  that  there  bo 
a  rigorous  examination  of  this  matter.  We  must  beg  of  the 
King,  therefore,  that  men  who  pass  their  lives  quietly,  giving 
offence  to  none,  shall  not  be  eagerly  watched,  nor  be  subjected 
to  the  captious  demands  of  the  priests.  The  King  confiscates 
the  goods  of  those  who  betake  themselves  to  us, — to  places,  as  he 
says,  obviously  removed  from  obedience  to  the  Holy  See:  nay, 
should  their  property  be  sold,  he  orders  the  purchasers  to  be 
dispossessed.  As  to  this,  we  must  beg  that  no  man  shall  be 
considered  a  criminal,  if,  having  nothing  else  laid  to  his  charge, 
he  willingly  and  peacefully  migrate  elsewhere,  because  he  can- 
not for  conscience  sake  remain  in  the  kingdom  ;  provided  only 
that  they  do  not  betake  themselves  to  an  unfriendly  country. 
But  the  first  thing  to  be  secured  is,  that  an  embassy  be  resolved 
upon.     It  will  appear  afterwards  what  is  to  be  demanded. 

To  the  letters  which  I  received  when  already  on  horseback, 
I  only  reply  that  I  had  good  reason  to  expostulate,  especially 
to  a  brother,  in  a  brotherly  way.  Consider  what  we  expected 
from  you  in  the  troubled  state  of  our  affairs.  Consider,  also, 
how  contrary  to  our  hopes  was  the  answer  you  gave  us ;  you 
may  see  that  we  had  some  cause  to  grieve.  You  wonder, 
because  I  utter  a  moderate  and  gentle  complaint,  that  we  were 
assisted  less  liberally  than  we  had  promised  ourselves.  How- 
ever, I  make  no  objection  to  my  letters  remaining  buried,  if 
they  contained  anything  offensive. 

The  little  book  which  I  send  you,  will  satisfy  you,  I  hope, 
concerning  the  whole  matter.^  You  may,  however,  if  you 
choose,  convey  through  me  your  free  judgment.  My  brother's 
father-in-law  was  to  have  travelled  thither  with  me ;  but  since 
God  has  thrown  an  obstacle  in  our  way,  he  writes  to  his  son's 
master  to  keep  him  till  the  end  of  the  year,  for  but  a  short 
time  now  remains.  In  the  meanwhile,  it  will  be  the  master's 
duty  to  treat  him  as  a  boy  who  requires  a  tighter  rein  and  a 
severer  discipline.     Farewell,  most  accomplished  sir,  and  most 

■  Doubtless  the  writing  published  by  Calvin  and  his  colleagues,  entitled,  "  Congri- 
qation  faite  en  I'Eglise  de  Geneve  sur  la  Matiire  de  I'ilection  iternelle."  Geneva, 
1552,  8vo. 


1552.]  CRANMER.  345 

esteemed  brother.  Salute  warmly,  in  my  name,  your  brethren 
and  fellow-ministers.  The  Lord  guide  you  by  his  Spirit,  and 
keep  you  under  his  protection !  Amen.  The  Marquis  de 
Vico,'  and  Normandie,  and  our  other  companions,  desire  me 
to  greet  you  heartily. 

Excuse  my  employing  an  amanuensis,  for  I  dictate  from  my 
bed. 

In  the  name  of  Farel  and  myself, 

John  Calvin". 

[Lai.  orig.  autogr. — Arch,  of  Zurich.     Gallicana  Scripta,  p.  16.] 


CCXCIY.— To  Cranmer.^ 

Agreement  to  the  proposal  for  assembling  a  General  Synod  for  the  more  close  union 
of  the  Reformed  Churches. 

Geneva,  [April  1552.] 

Your  opinion,  most  distinguished  sir,  is  indeed  just  and  wise, 
that  in  the  present  disordered  condition  of  the  Church,  no  remedy 
can  be  devised  more  suitable  than  if  a  general  meeting  were 

'  The  Marquis  de  Vico,  a  Neapolitan  nobleman,  retired  to  Geneva.  He  was  ad- 
mitted an  inhabitant  of  the  city,  "after  having  promised  to  submit  to  the  laws  of  the 
magistrates,  and  to  live  in  the  profession  of  the  Reformed  religion." — Refjisters  of 
Council,  15th  June  1551. 

"  Thomas  Cranmer,  Archbishop  of  Canterbury  and  Primate  of  England,  took  an 
important  part  in  the  Reformation  of  his  country  during  the  reigns  of  Henry  VIII. 
and  Edward  VI.  He  laboured  assiduously  with  the  Reformers  of  the  Continent, 
■who  esteemed  his  learning  and  honoured  his  character,  to  establish  a  bond  of  union 
between  the  foreign  churches  and  his  own ;  and  if  he  did  not  live  to  see  his  efforts 
crowned  with  success,  he  at  least  left  behind  him  an  example  worthy  of  imitation. 
What  is  most  notable  in  these  endeavours  is  to  be  found  in  Cranmer's  Letters  to 
the  leadinj^  theologians  of  Switzerland  and  Germany,  reproduced  in  the  Collections 
of  his  Works  published  by  the  Parker  Society.  They  are  likewise  to  be  found  in 
the  Collection  of  Zurich  Letters,  1st  series,  vol.  i.  p.  21-26,  from  which  we  borrow 
the  following  letter  to  Calvin,  which  furnishes  us  with  the  date  of  the  Reformer's 
reply  to  the  Prelate  : — "As  nothing  tends  more  injuriously  to  the  separation  of  the 
Churches  than  heresies  and  disputes  respecting  the  doctrines  of  religion,  so  nothing 
tends  more  effectually  to  unite  the  Churches  of  God,  and  more  powerfully  to  defend 
the  fold  of  Christ,  than  the  pure  teaching  of  the  Gospel  and  harmony  of  doctrine. 
Wherefore  I  have  often  wished,  and  still  continue  to  do  so,  that  learned  and  godly 
men,  who  are  eminent  for  erudition  and  judgment,  might  meet  together,  and,  com- 
paring their  respective  opinions,  might  handle  all  the  heads  of  ecclesiastical  doo- 
44 


346  CRANMER.  [1552. 

held  of  the  devout  and  the  prudent,  of  those  properly  exercised 
in  the  school  of  God,  and  of  those  who  are  confessedly  at  one 
on  the  doctrine  of  holiness.  For  we  see  how  Satan  is  attempt- 
ing, by  various  devices,  to  extinguish  the  light  of  the  Gospel, 
which,  by  the  wonderful  goodness  of  God,  having  risen  upon 
us,  is  shining  in  many  a  quarter.  The  hireling  dogs  of  the 
Pope  cease  not  to  bark,  in  order  to  prevent  the  pure  Gospel  of 
Christ  from  being  heard:  so  great  is  the  licentiousness  that  is 
here  and  there  breaking  forth,  and  the  ungodliness  that  is 
spreading  abroad,  that  religion  is  become  a  mere  mockery ;  and 
those  who  are  not  professed  enemies  of  the  truth,  nevertheless 
conduct  themselves  with  an  impropriety  which  will  create  in  a 
short  time,  unless  it  be  obviated,  terrible  disorder  among  us. 
And  not  only  among  the  common  herd  of  men  here  does  the 
distemper  of  a  stupid  inquisitiveness  alternate  with  that  of  fear- 
less extravagance,  but,  what  is  more  lamentable,  in  the  ranks 
of  the  pastors  also  the  malady  is  now  gaining  ground.  It  is 
too  well  known  with  what  mad  actions  Osiander  is  deceiving 
himself  and  deluding  certain  others.'     Yet  the  Lord,  as  he  has 


trine,  and  hand  down  to  posterity,  under  the  weight  of  their  authority  some  work 
not  only  upon  the  subjects  themselves,  but  upon  the  forms  of  expressing  them.  Our 
adversaries  are  now  holding  their  councils  at  Trent,  for  the  establishment  of  their 
errors ;  and  shall  we  neglect  to  call  together  a  godly  synod,  for  the  refutation  of  error, 
and  for  restoring  and  propagating  the  truth  ?  They  are,  as  I  am  informed,  making 
decrees  respecting  the  worship  of  the  host;  wherefore  we  ought  to  leave  no  stone  un- 
turned, not  only  that  we  may  guard  others  against  this  idolatry,  but  also  that  we  may 
ourselves  come  to  an  agreement  upon  the  doctrine  of  this  sacrament.  It  cannot  escape 
your  prudence  how  exceedingly  the  Church  of  God  has  been  injured  by  dissensions 
and  varieties  of  opinion  respecting  the  sacrament  of  unity  ;  and  though  they  are  now 
in  some  measure  removed,  yet  I  could  wish  for  an  agreement  in  this  doctrine,  not 
only  as  regards  the  subject  itself,  but  also  with  respect  to  the  words  and  forms  of  ex- 
pression. You  have  now  my  wish,  about  which  I  have  also  written  to  Masters  Philip 
[Melanchthon]  and  Bullinger ;  and  I  pray  you  to  deliberate  among  yourselves  as  to 
the  means  by  which  this  synod  can  be  assembled  with  the  greatest  convenience. 
Farewell. — Your  very  dear  brother  in  Christ, 

"  Thoma8  Cantuar. 

"Lambeth,  20th  March  1552." 

Calvin  could  only  subscribe  to  the  wishes  so  nobly  expressed  by  Cranmer,  and 
which  harmonized  so  well  with  the  most  elevated  sentiments  of  the  Reformer  of 
Geneva. 

'  Alluding  to  the  unfortunate  controversies  raised  by  Osiander  in  Germany  on  the 
doctrine  of  Justification. 


[1552.  CRANMER.  347 

done  even  from  the  beginning  of  the  world,  will  preserve  in  a 
miraculous  manner,  and  in  a  way  unknown  to  us,  the  unity  of 
a  pure  faith  from  being  destroyed  by  the  dissensions  of  men. 
And  those  whom  he  has  placed  on  his  watch-tower  he  wishes 
least  of  all  to  be  inactive,  seeing  that  he  has  appointed  them 
to  be  his  ministers,  through  whose  labours  he  may  preserve 
from  all  corruptions  sound  doctrine  in  the  Church,  and  transmit 
it  safe  to  posterity.  Especially,  most  illustrious  Archbishop, 
is  it  necessary  for  you,  in  proportion  to  the  distinguished  posi- 
tion you  occupy,  to  turn  your  attention  as  you  are  doing  towards 
this  object.  I  do  not  say  this  as  if  to  spur  you  on  to  greater 
exertions,  who  are  not  only,  of  your  own  accord,  in  advance  of 
others,  but  are  also,  as  a  voluntary  encourager,  urging  them 
on ;  I  say  it  in  order  that,  by  my  congratulations,  you  may  be 
strengthened  in  a  pursuit  so  auspicious  and  noble.  I  hear  that 
the  success  of  the  Gospel  in  England  is  indeed  cheering ;  but 
you  will  experience  there  also,  I  doubt  not,  what  Paul  experi- 
enced in  his  time,  that  by  means  of  the  door  that  has  been 
opened  for  the  reception  of  pure  doctrine,  many  enemies  will 
suddenly  rise  up  against  it.  Although  I  am  really  ignorant  of 
how  many  suitable  defenders  you  may  have  at  hand  to  repel 
the  lies  of  Satan,  still  the  ungodliness  of  those  who  are  wholly 
taken  up  in  creating  disturbances,  causes  the  assiduity  of  the 
well-disposed  to  be  at  no  time  either  too  much  or  superfluous. 
And  then  I  am  aware  that  English  matters  are  not  so  all-im- 
portant in  your  eyes,  but  that  you,  at  the  same  time,  regard  the 
inteiest  of  the  whole  world.  Moreover,  the  rare  piety  of  the 
English  King,  as  well  as  his  noble  disposition,  is  worthy  of  the 
highest  commendation,  in  that,  of  his  own  inclination,  he  enter- 
tains the  pious  design  of  holding  a  convention  of  the  nature 
referred  to,  and  offers  a  place  for  it  also  in  his  own  kingdom. 
And  would  that  it  were  attainable  to  bring  together  into  some 
place,  from  various  Churches,  men  eminent  for  their  learning,  and 
that  after  having  carefully  discussed  the  main  points  of  be!  ief  one 
by  one,  they  should,  from  their  united  judgments,  hand  down  to 
posterity  the  true  doctrine  of  Scripture.  This  other  thing  also 
is  to  be  ranked  among  the  chief  evils  of  our  time,  viz.,  that  the 
Churches  are  so  divided,  that  human  fellowship  is  scarcely  now 


348  CRANMER.  [1552. 

in  any  repute  amongst  us,  far  less  that  Christian  intercourse 
which  all  make  a  profession  of,  but  few  sincerely  practise.  If 
men  of  learning  conduct  themselves  with  more  reserve  than  is 
seemly,  the  very  heaviest  blame  attaches  to  the  leaders  them- 
selves, who,  either  engrossed  in  their  own  sinful  pursuits,  are 
indifferent  to  the  safety  and  entire  piety  of  the  Church,  or  who, 
individually  satisfied  with  their  own  private  peace,  have  no 
regard  for  others.  Thus  it  is  that  the  members  of  the  Church 
being  severed,  the  body  lies  bleeding.  So  much  does  this  con- 
cern me,  that,  could  I  be  of  any  service,  I  would  not  grudge  to 
cross  even  ten  seas,  if  need  were,  on  account  of  it.  If  it  were 
but  a  question  regarding  the  rendering  of  assistance  to  the 
kingdom  of  England,  such  a  motive  would  at  present  be  to  me 
a  sufficiently  just  one.  Now,  seeing  that  a  serious  and  properly 
adjusted  agreement  between  men  of  learning  upon  the  rule  of 
Scripture  is  still  a  desideratum,  by  means  of  which  Churches, 
though  divided  on  other  questions,  might  be  made  to  unite,  I 
think  it  right  for  me,  at  whatever  cost  of  toil  and  trouble,  to 
seek  to  obtain  this  object.  But  I  hope  my  own  insignificance 
will  cause  me  to  be  passed  by.  If  I  earnestly  pray  that  it  may 
be  undertaken  by  others,  I  hope  I  shall  have  discharged  my 
duty.  Mr.  Philip  [Melanchthon]  is  at  too  great  a  distance  to 
admit  of  a  speedy  interchange  of  letters.  Mr.  Bullinger  has 
likely  written  you  before  this  time.  Would  that  I  were  as  able 
as  I  am  willing  to  exert  myself!  Moreover,  the  very  difficulty 
of  the  thing  which  you  feel,  compels  me  to  do  what,  at  the  out- 
set, I  affirmed  I  would  not  do,  viz.,  not  only  to  encourage,  but 
also  to  implore  you  to  increase  your  exertions,  until  something 
at  least  shall  have  been  accomplished,  if  not  all  that  we 
could  desire. — Adieu,  very  distinguished  Archbishop,  deserv- 
ing of  my  hearty  reverence.  May  the  Lord  continue  to  guide 
you  by  his  Spirit,  and  to  bless  your  holy  labours! 

John  Calvin. 

[Calviji's  Lat.  Corresp.     Opera,  torn.  ix.  p.  61.] 


1552.]  BULLINGER.  849 

CCXCY.— To  BULLINGER. 
Fresh  details  regarding  the  persecutions  in